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A Year After Lifting Of The Ban, Local Women Still Won't Enter The Shani Shignapur Temple

Sigh!

03/04/2017 3:12 PM IST | Updated 03/04/2017 3:30 PM IST
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On April 8, 2016, a trustee of Maharashtra's Shani Shingnapur temple Shalini Lande had announced reluctantly that women will neither be allowed nor denied entry into the temple.

While women were earlier not allowed to enter the temple, after much protest from the Bhumata Brigade and a Bombay High Court order, things changed.

The face of the protest against restriction of women's entry in to the temple, Trupti Desai, had called it a "victory for women power."

But a year later, if reports are to be believed, local women are adhering to the ban and not going inside the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.

Anita Shete, now the head of the temple trust, says there was nothing wrong and that she would do everything to maintain the centuries-old discriminatory tradition.

Shete told The Hindustan Times, "None of us from the district have climbed the platform and touched the deity. We don't oppose any woman coming from outside and entering into the inner sanctum but why should we be forced to break the tradition."

A division bench of the Bombay High Court had said last year, "You have to ensure their access. Provisions in law already allow this. Nothing prevents women from entering. Police and collector will have to act against those preventing their entry."

This was after PIL was filed against the ban of women in the temple and after months of campaigning by the Bhumata Brigae. Desai had even courted detention for trying to force her way into the temple.

She now tells The Hindustan Times that it is men who are influencing local women against entering the temple, however the newspaper report that local men have denied.

The issue of the Shani Shignapur temple had come into limelight when the Bhumata Brigade protested over the issue.

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