Continuing their fight for women’s equality in places of worship, a group of human rights activists, including Trupti Desai of the Shani Shingnapur fame, will hold a peaceful dharna outside Haji Ali Dargah on Thursday.
“We will have a peaceful protest outside the dargah. We will not enter the inner sanctum of the temple but will go till where men and women are allowed to enter,” said Desai. “It is believed that whatever you ask for at Haji Ali dargah comes true, and we shall ask for equal treatment for women.”
Desai said the Mumbai police has permitted only 100 people to be part of the protest. On April 20, a forum ‘Haji Ali sab ke liye’ was formed by human right activists and non-government organisations to assert constitutional principles over customs and traditions that undermine gender justice and equality.
The forum also asserts that women have equal rights to access sacred spaces.
“We will not enter the Dargah forcibly. We don’t have any such intentions,” said Javed Anand, another member.
The forum has about 20 members, including Hasan Kamaal, Javed Anand, Javed Siddiqui, Zeenat Shaukat Ali, Feroze Mithiborwala, Saeed Mirza, Aslam Parvez, Rahman Abbas, Shabana Khan, Nasreen Contractor, Marium Dhawale (AIDWA), Prakash Reddy (CPI), Vijay Dalvi (National Trade Union Initiative), Jyoti Badekar (Vaghini), Varsha Vidya Vilas (Sadbhavna Sangh).
Syed Abid, general secretary, Mumbai, AIMIM, said the party will oppose Desai’s entry to the dargah. “These agitations will only spoil the communal harmony of the city. They should not interfere with our religious matters,” said Abid.