NEW DELHI -- Women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi does not think that the government can decide whether women can enter religious places of worship or not. She called it a religious issue and suggested that the "society" should decide on it.
"Some things should be left outside the government’s purview. Let the society decide on it," she told Indian Express. "In this particular case, it is about religion and I am not sure the state should intrude. In all democracies, there is a clear demarcation between religion and the state."
Gandhi had earlier this year said that society should decide on whether women should be allowed to enter certain areas of places of worship. "The society will itself level it out. There should not be any political comment on it," she had said.
Women's rights activists have been trying to gain access to the inner sanctum of several temples, and most recently the Haji Ali dargah, where only men are allowed to enter. Several women's rights groups have found support from political leaders on the issue even as some political groups have asked the issue not to be politicised.
Last month, the Supreme Court had said that Indian temples cannot bar women from entering places of worship.
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