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The Bombay High Court has finally shown some guts! Let us say it as bluntly as we can. Now that the women from the Muslim community have access and freedom to enter the inner sanctum of the Haji Ali dargah, we must hail the court of justice which upheld the law of the land and did not allow religious fanatics to usurp the fundamental right of prayer! The ruckus was going on continuously since the past 6-7 months. Women activists from various religious communities have knocked the door of the juries. Finally, the calls have been answered and the Muslim women have the ‘freedom’ to enter the inner sanctum.

Indeed, it’s a matter of celebration and the success must be celebrated in unequivocal terms. No religion can justify barring people from offering prayer to God! However, somehow, the ban imposed by the Haji Ali dargah was successful for the last 5 years. Introduced with the references made to the Quran, the ban on women entry to the inner sanctum of the dargah started in 2012. There were the instances of hustle but all in vain until a massive activity occurred. We should acknowledge the role of Trupti Desai, the women activist from the Bhumata Brigade who took things to a storm!

Also read: Right to Pray: women allowed to pray men’s god!

Entries into the mandis, dargahs and masjids are all the matter of equality without any prejudices based on gender and class. It’s good to see that our courts are stepping in and pronouncing the judgments which are all valid and rational. The nation cannot be run by the text of Quran as it has its OWN constitution! Nevertheless, there are many bad practices still going around. We must hope that a day will come when Muslim women will be liberated from the atrocity of ‘oral divorce’!

The Bombay High Court has said in its verdict that any ban from entering the religious places directly violates the acts 14, 15, 19 & 21 of the Constitution of India. The court has also told that the responsibility for the safety of women in the dargah is upon the state and the administration of the Haji Ali trust.

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