Shirdi: In the wake of a controversy on the practice of prohibiting entry to women at a Shani temple in the state, BJP MP Hema Malini on Friday said there should not be any gender-based discrimination in temples.
"Both men and women should be allowed to enter the temple...This (ban on women's entry) is only a man-made rule," she said when asked about the recent controversy at Shani Shingnapur in the neighbouring Ahmednagar district where women are traditionally not allowed to enter the local Lord Shani temple.
She was speaking to reporters after visiting the Saibaba shrine here.
A woman from Pune last week managed to perform puja at the Shani temple as a protest against the age-old bar, causing an uproar following which the locals allegedly carried out a 'purification ritual' at the temple.
Interestingly, BJP leader and Maharashtra Rural Development Minister Pankaja Munde yesterday defended the tradition saying it "should not be linked with insult of female fraternity".
On the 'award-wapasi' campaign by writers across the country, Hema Malini said it was wrong to return awards which were given by the country, termed the campaign as political.