Trivandrum (Kerala) [India]: Terming the entry of members of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) inside the sanctum sanctorum of Haji Ali Dargah as a "bogus victory", Ayyappa Dharma Sena president Rahul Easwar has said that Bhumata Brigade chief Trupti Desai and "any ultra feminists" would not be allowed to enter Sabarimala."Haji Ali and Sabarimala have their own rights under Article 25 (of the Constitution) and let me remind that Haji Ali won the case in the Supreme Court.
So, this is bogus victory; let us not delude ourselves with half truths and lies," Easwar told ANI. "I am sorry to sound assertive, but Trupti Desai won`t be allowed inside Sabarimala and our women activists group will block Trupti Desai or any ultra feminists who are trying to attack Sabarimala. They will definitely be blocked," he added.
Easwar asked feminist activists to focus on more "substantial issues" rather than protesting about women`s entry into religious places. "I would be requesting our feminist activists to focus on substantial issues like female foeticide or rising atrocities against women or dowry deaths or lack of tolerance on hygiene. Women entering Haji Ali or Sabarimala are not the most important issue in India. Sabarimala stand doesn`t change and will strongly hold onto our position," he said.
After a series of legal battles that lasted for five years, women activists on Tuesday entered the sanctum sanctorum of Haji Ali Dargah.Prior to 2011, the dargah did not discriminate against women and allowed free entry of people across religions. However, in March 2011, the dargah`s board of trustees imposed a ban on women`s entry calling it a "grievous sin".
On October 24, the Haji Ali Dargah Trust had told the Supreme Court that it was ready to implement the Bombay High Court`s order to allow women`s enter to the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine located in South Mumbai and had sought four weeks for infrastructural changes to make arrangements for it.
A Supreme Court Bench led by Chief Justice TS Thakur was hearing a plea by the Haji Ali Dargah Trust challenging the Bombay High Court`s ruling to provide equal right of entry to both women and men in the dargah`s sanctum sanctorum.
On August 26, the Bombay High Court held that the ban imposed by the Trust, prohibiting women from entering the sanctum sanctorum of the Haji Ali Dargah, contravened Articles 14, 15 and 25 of the Constitution and said women should be permitted to enter the sanctum sanctorum like men.Noorjehan Fiaz and Zakia Soman, founders of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) had petitioned the Bombay High Court against the ban, calling it unconstitutional.Bhumata brigade Chief Trupti Desai had also said the Supreme Court`s decision should act as a guidance for the nation to allow the entry of women in all temples.