Mumbai, November 29: A more that five-year-long struggle has finally come to a conclusion with a group of women finally entering the sanctum sanctorum of the Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai. After losing the legal battle against a group of women activists, the dargah’s administration had assured the Supreme Court that, “Women will be treated at par with men.”
The dargah board, however, had informed the apex court of the country on October 24 that it would require at least a one month window to lift the ban placed on women entering the inner sanctum of the Haji Ali. Rules inside the shrine have finally been changed. As of today, nobody will be allowed to touch the tomb, but equal access will be given to men and women inside the sanctum sanctorum of the Haji Ali.
Celebrating the victory, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan co-founder Noorjehan S Niaz had told IANS, “It will be routine now, we have not informed the police or the dargah trust. We shall pay our respects and come out.” The entire issue was taken up the Bombay high court after the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan along with other activists filed a plea seeking entry rights. In fact, in April this year, Bhumata Ranragini Brigade leader Trupti Desai had
In fact, in April this year, well known activist and Bhumata Ranragini Brigade leader Trupti Desai had visited Haji Ali. However, she was stopped from entering the inner sanctum of the shrine. On receiving the plea, the High Court informed that the ban violated the the right to equality, the right against gender-based discrimination, freedom of movement and freedom of religion of the Indian constitution and thereby necessitated the revoking of the ban.
Haji Ali had imposed the ban on women’s entry in 2011. According to some orthodox followers, the presence of women in such close proximity to the grave of a Muslim saint was a “grievous sin” in Islam.