The Bombay High Court has given its verdict- women cannot be barred from entering temples. While hearing a plea which questioned the ban on women in the Shani Shingnapur temple in Maharashtra, the Bombay High Court said, “There is no law which prevents women from entering temples. Women should have equal access to places of worship.”
The PIL, filed by two women activists, demanded that women be allowed to enter the inner sanctum of the Shani Shingnapur temple. The petition had said that the discriminatory prohibition imposed on women violated the fundamental rights of Indian citizens.
The temple, in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district, has been in the news lately.
Before, temple authorities performed a purification ritual for the idol after a woman had entered the inner sanctum. Protesting the event a group of about 400 women activists, Bhumata Brigade, had attempted to enter the temple on Republic Day this year, to protest the ban imposed in the name of tradition.
While the protesters had been the target of condemnation from people citing culture as the reason for the ban, they had also received support from several quarters.
The Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, had tweeted, “Indian culture and Hindu religion gives women the right to pray. A change in traditions is our culture. Discrimination in praying is not in our culture. The temple authorities should resolve the issue through a dialogue.”
The Bombay High Court has now asked the Maharashtra government to make its stand clear on the issue within two days.