Over 1500 women plan to storm Shani Shingnapur temple today

The protesters want to end the age-old "humiliating" practice of not allowing women to enter the core shrine area.

Written by MANOJ MORE | Pune | Updated: January 26, 2016 1:36 am
Shani Shingnapur, shani temple, shani mandir, shanir shingnapur protest Devotees, including women, pray at the shrine of Shani Shingnapur. (Source: Express photo by Sandeep Daundkar)

As many as 1,500 women — mostly housewives and college students — plan to storm the Shani Shingnapur temple in Ahmednagar district on Republic Day and end the age-old “humiliating” practice of not allowing women to enter the core shrine area. The police, however, have geared up to thwart the attempt by imposing prohibitory orders in the temple area and also plan to carry out preventive arrests.

The Bhumata Ranragini Brigade, which is spearheading the agitation, said Monday women from across Maharashtra would gather at Shani Shingnapur by 1 pm. “Soon after we will enter the temple area and then climb the platform where the Shani idol has been installed,” said Trupti Desai, the Bhumata Brigade president. The women activists said they know that the police would be using all their force and might to stop them, but they are confident of offering prayers in the core shrine area to restore the dignity of the women not only from Maharashtra but across India who visit the place.

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“We know the police will not allow us in the vicinity of the temple as they have imposed prohibitory orders. We are not planning to create any ugly scene or indulge in any form of violence. We will adopt the Gandhian way for handing over rose to the police personnel to allow our entry inside the temple,” she said.

Since the police seem to be leaving no stone unturned to stop the women activists from marching to the temple, Desai said they have a ‘secret plan’ up their sleeves. “Since it is a secret plan, we will obviously not reveal anything as of now. We will spring a surprise tomorrow…wait and watch,” she said.

The women activists had also tried to rope in a helicopter, but the district collector denied them the permission. “Let them do what they want to, it will not deter us. We are determined to end the distasteful practice on Republic Day,” said Desai, adding that women have already started proceeding towards Shani Shingnapur by buses and private vehicles from far off places like Latur, Nashik, Nagpur and Konkan.

Priyanka Jagtap, another member of the brigade said,”It is really painful to find the kind of effort underway to stop us from ending their wrong practice. First, they are outrightly humiliating women by not allowing them to climb the platform of the core shrine area. They make all kinds of claims like women are impure and what not…And then they want us to remain mere spectators and allow the humiliation to continue for ages. It is because of such mindset that women continue to be insulted, discriminated and subjected for years,” she said.

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First Published on: January 26, 2016 1:00 am
  1. L
    Logical Indian
    Jan 25, 2016 at 3:12 pm
    This is a positive movement ...means people are indeed questioning age old traditions.This is the best thing about Hinduism ..that it's followers are liberal and are not afraid to make amends when required.The temple authorities should have rather opened the doors for women instead of following age old rituals blindly.Hinduism as per core beliefs places a great importance to women in various forms of Shakti.The temple authorities are going a great disservice to Hinduism itself by barring women.
    Reply
    1. U
      US NRI
      Jan 25, 2016 at 10:36 pm
      Good to see that thousands of years of traditions and beliefs are being challenged and supported by new modi govt. My only argument goes in favor of the resident of this and nearby towns who have been talking of this temple for centuries. These women rather then doing it themselves should encourage women from this area...to stop this tradition and credit should go to people in this area and not some outsiders seeking publicity. This would ensure support of the village, people from
      Reply
      1. I
        Inidna
        Jan 25, 2016 at 4:58 pm
        why are separate toilet for M/F ?
        Reply
        1. A
          Anti-corruption
          Jan 25, 2016 at 4:08 pm
          Hahahahahaaha..something interesting
          Reply
          1. N
            Nafeesa
            Jan 26, 2016 at 4:27 pm
            I love to R@@pe why not allowed , it is shame my rights are not allowed by Goverment.
            Reply
            1. A
              arc
              Jan 25, 2016 at 4:44 pm
              RSS, fadnavis govt, the sanghis in general back the temple authorities. What can you expect of misogynists? But nice fun. The world is watching.
              Reply
              1. c
                countk99
                Jan 25, 2016 at 3:24 pm
                Every temple place will have some signification and one should not disturb that especially out siders. Its local people practice and traditions, who are these women to question. No one is asking or forcing them to go that temple. If one doesn't like then don't go. Is it that important issue for this stupid and sick minded women. No other religion gives importance when it comes women goddess compared to Hinduism.
                Reply
                1. I
                  IslamForFoools
                  Jan 25, 2016 at 6:07 pm
                  Hinduism allows women to go to temples and worship side by side with male, just one temple has specific rule and Media is making big fuss out of it. MOSQUES do not allow muslim women to enter , but no cry from media against islam, smallest thing in hinduism will be made out fo proportion. I say kill those who do this, kil those media personnels for doing injustice to Hindus and making everyone hate hinduism, when in reality Islam is ruining world everywhere.
                  Reply
                  1. I
                    IslamForFoools
                    Jan 25, 2016 at 6:07 pm
                    Let there be violence against those who organise it.
                    Reply
                    1. K
                      Kamal Kishore
                      Jan 26, 2016 at 4:02 pm
                      WHo has given permission to these few women or women organisations to talk about all women in India, there are Crores of women in India who follow the tradition and want to follow the tradition the way it is, it is the selfish interest / EGO of these Women Groups or better call it there Dada giri/ Gunda gardi, supported by some political parties also, and fully supported by some Feminist MEDIA channels. These GUNDI WOMEN GROUPS are no less then TERRORIST organisations terrorising everyone. We strongly protest these Women Groups, and want these groups to be banned for enterfering in ones religious believes.
                      Reply
                      1. K
                        Kamal Kishore
                        Jan 26, 2016 at 3:30 pm
                        We should follow our Tradition, that is being followed from centuries. It is mentioned in the sacred texts, and one important thing,why this Hulla and discussion in media only for HINDU TEMPLES and their traditions, why women should not be allowed in MOSQUES, and many other religions where such a tradition is followed. WHy all the HOwe-HULLA with Hindu Gods and temples, why these MEDIA channels always target Hindu traditions and believes. No body talks about other religions, especially Muslim religion. I advise these MEDIA s to stop working on this Anti Hindu Agenda, else the public will beat them off.
                        Reply
                        1. H
                          Haridas Pulpet
                          Jan 25, 2016 at 3:55 pm
                          My dear sisters! Go read the Upanoshads. You will learn that being body bound is not the way to achieve any equality. Rise above your BMI and you will realise your equality not only with men but also the Gods, also with the Amoeba who you now consider not to be your equal.� At least you will realise how petty you have got!
                          Reply
                          1. J
                            jai
                            Jan 25, 2016 at 5:43 pm
                            While blind unscientific practices must be discarded, storming the sanctum of a temple against the traditions is unlawful and harms sancy. Since these ardent followers of Shri Shani maharaj would not even recall Raja Vikramaditya's story...one can only pray for them, seven and half years is enough to turn a hyper protestant into a sane rationalist. :-) May Shani maharaj bestow justice to all.
                            Reply
                            1. J
                              James
                              Jan 26, 2016 at 11:47 am
                              Modi BJP is not supporting this stand taken by women.So why do you give credit to Modi.It is a BJP govt in Maharashtra ,under whose direction the police have stopped the women from proceeding to the temple
                              Reply
                              1. B
                                BharatK
                                Jan 25, 2016 at 11:26 pm
                                They are going to pray, worship. Not going for storming the mandir. Shame on IE. Have some writing sense.
                                Reply
                                1. K
                                  K M
                                  Jan 25, 2016 at 5:16 pm
                                  so what next ? to enter a gurudwara without covering head!!
                                  Reply
                                  1. M
                                    Manoj
                                    Jan 25, 2016 at 9:43 pm
                                    A sample of a mess created by brahmins. They make so many rules just to create confusion and look knowledgeable. The simple truth is that all men and women are children of god and have equal access. I am totally with the brave sisters who are planning on doing this. Good luck....lord Shani is with you.
                                    Reply
                                    1. M
                                      Manoj
                                      Jan 25, 2016 at 9:45 pm
                                      Hi, I understand your anger. But cleanliness begins at home. They have created a mess and are living in it. We don't have to.....
                                      Reply
                                      1. A
                                        Ana
                                        Jan 25, 2016 at 9:45 pm
                                        Hollywood: entertainment and refulgence! You can get the special “Success and Hollywood” bonus: $ 3 million! All great fortunes were started with great ideas! A key to success is clarity! You can if you think you can! Go to:
                                        Reply
                                        1. O
                                          onebookend
                                          Jan 25, 2016 at 6:01 pm
                                          All those who are against women's demands of equality, equal rights, must first read Susan B. Anthony's essay on Women's Right' to Vote. Then they should ask a simple question should Shudra, that consists of three quarter of India's potion be allowed to enter any and every temple. Last but not the least should people marrying inter caste be threatened and hide in Police's make shift shelters. And as an added piece of knowledge think as to why two of world's most powerful rulers of world's largest contiguous empire left their religion and converted to Jain and Buddha Dharma, Samrat Chandragupta Maurya and Samrat Ashoka, but for the fact that they abhorred the hypocrisy of the Hindu caste system. In simple words, admire, respect, and support w heartedly, women in their pursuit of equality. Create a Tradition that will last for ever.
                                          Reply
                                          1. O
                                            onebookend
                                            Jan 25, 2016 at 6:09 pm
                                            Yes indeed. Its time the women are admired, respected and supported in their pursuit of equality, so they could jointly raise the next generation for a more respected tolerant society.
                                            Reply
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