Two days after the Bombay high court passed an order in favour of women entering the inner sanctum of the Haji Ali Dargah, Trupti Desai visited the dargah on Sunday, to offer a chadar and speak with the trust that runs it to urge them to not move the Supreme Court against the high court’s decision.
“I came to this place to pay my respects as our fight has been successful. Thankfully, unlike last time, there were no protests over my visit and I would like to thank everyone for this,” said Desai.
However, she could not meet the trustees as they were not there on a Sunday, the Indian Express reported.
“I request the trustees with folded hands to follow the verdict of the high court and not go to the Supreme Court to challenge the order as this was in favour of all the women in the country. If the trustees prefer to knock on the Supreme Court’s door, then nothing is going to change because the apex court too would uphold the constitutional right of the women and I am fully confident about it,” she said.
The women’s rights activist said,“If the trustees give a serious thought over the merits of the high court’s verdict, then it is possible that the doors of Baba can be opened in next two days only for the women devotees.”
This request comes after the high court order on Friday, which saw the barring of women as a violation of fundamental rights and said that the dargah’s trust had no right to prohibit women’s entry in a place of public worship. However, the court stayed its order for six weeks because the Haji Ali trust wanted challenge the order in the Supreme Court.
“Today I went only upto the permissible limit of the dargah, as I did not want to flout the court’s ruling in any case,” Desai said.
Desai said that the Sabrimala temple would be next on her quest to ensure that women are given equal rights in places of religious worship.
“I think that in the backdrop of the high court’s verdict, the trustees of the Sabarimala temple ought to open their doors for women discriminated on the basis of gender……And if they don’t, then I would launch a similar agitation and would speak to the management of the temple in next few days,” she said.
Desai, the president of the Bhumata Brigade, had launched a campaign earlier this year to ensure equal access for women in the Shani Shignapur temple in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. They launched a similar campaign for the Haji Ali Dargah, after the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan petitioned the high court.
The seven trustees of the Haji Ali Dargah are due to meet today to discuss the situation. They can either approach the Supreme Court or they can remove the ban on women.