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Next Destination Haji Ali Dargah

Trupti Desai will try to enter Haji Ali dargah on April 28 demanding entry for females into the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine.

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After successfully spearheading the campaign for allowing women’s entry into sanctum sanctorum of Shani Shingnapur temple, Bhumata Ranragini Brigade leader Trupti Desai is all set to launch another movement for lifting ban of women’s entry into restricted area of Haji Ali dargah. She along with other women activists will try to enter Haji Ali dargah on April 28. For achieving this objective she has set up a forum named ‘Haji Ali Sabke Liye’.

She said, “We don’t make any discrimination on the basis of caste or communal lines. We are only fighting for the cause of gender equality. Prior to entering Haji Ali dargah we will have a dialogue with the members of its trust and try to have a consensus with them. Muslim women had contacted us for fighting a battle against gender disparity. People are alleging that our campaign is politically motivated but we are only fighting for a cause. I will continue with social work and not join politics. It is the “male patriarchy”, and not religion, which was imposing restrictions on women.”

“We are not associated with any political party and such campaigns can’t be fought with political support. Since we are in 21st century and women are doing well in various fields hence we must end this discrimination restricting their entry in temples and mosques. Women are already voluntarily coming forward to fight against this issue and nobody can stop us. I have received calls from Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala inviting me to start similar movements in these states. We are only holding peaceful demonstrations and don’t violate law and order,” she added.

Trupti also had organised a press meet for creating awareness among citizens about her campaign which was opposed by Muslims.

Few months back, Muslim women had staged a protest demanding entry into a restricted area of the Haji Ali dargah in Mumbai. Several activists belonging to Muslim women groups held placards demanding entry for females into the sanctum sanctorum of the historic dargah, which receives hundreds of devotees everyday. Women plan to continue their protests until ban on their entry in dargah is lifted.

On the other hand, a member of Haji Ali dargah trust on the condition of anonymity justified the prohibition of women’s entry near sanctum sanctorum of the dargah. He said, “If women get closer to the sanctorum then it is considered as unIslamic. We have autonomy in managing the functions of the trust and nobody should try to interfere in our work.”

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