In a remark that could potentially stir fresh controversy over women’s entry into the Shani Shingnapur temple, Madhya Pradesh home minister Babulal Gaur on Friday said “they should first worship at home”.
“Leave it, women can worship at home,” he said when his response was sought on the ongoing debate on whether women should be allowed into the temple in Shani Shingnapur, a village about 330 kilometres (KM) northeast of Mumbai.
On Tuesday, around 400 members of the Bhumata Ranragini Brigade had attempted to break a decade-old tradition by entering the Shani Shingnapur Temple, which prohibits women from entering its sanctum sanctorum.
The protesting women, however, were prevented from entering the premises after a clash with the police and locals, and they had later sought Maharashtra chief minister (CM) Devendra Fadnavis’ support to put an end to the gender bias.
The temple first drew attention after a young woman defied common practice and performed ‘abhishek’ of Lord Shani on November 27 last year.