PUNE (Maharashtra): Bhumata Brigade activist Trupti Desai on Friday welcomed the decision of the Shani Shingnapur trust to allow females to enter the inner sanctum of the temple and offer their prayers and said that it was a victory for women power.
“It is a victory for Bhumata Brigade. It is a victory for women power,” Desai told ANI.
“Today, we are going to take sight in the temple in a respectful way. We are going in a batch of eight to ten people. The trustee has also said that we will be provided police protection,” she added.
She also insisted that they are not going to return from the temple without offering the prayers today.
Bowing to the Bombay High Court order and breaking 400 years of tradition, the temple trust today announced that both men and women will henceforth be allowed to enter the inner sanctum and offer their prayers.
This will be the first time in 60 years that women will be allowed to enter the garbhagriha after a decades-long tradition barred women from entering it, and conditionally restricted men too.
"Anyone can enter the sanctum and the committee can't stop them from entering. The rule was that men and women both can worship god (darshan) from the lower part of the temple, but when men entered the sanctum then it became our responsibility to also let women enter," Nana Sahib Bankar, vice-president of the Shani Shingnapur Trust, told the media here.
He said that the temple had been following an ancient custom but added that they had no objection in welcoming the court's order.
Earlier today, around 100 men were seen storming into the inner sanctum of the holy place, defying the Trust's orders.
On the festive occasion of Gudi Padwa, with hundreds of devotees in line to worship, a mob of men arrived outside the temple and stripped to their undergarments as they barged aside the security to enter the inner sanctum of the temple and pray at the holy site.