Trupti Desai enters Haji Ali dargah: Scuffle erupts

Desai has not entered the inner area of the Dargah where the tomb of Sufi Haji Ali situated.

“Haji Ali for all” campaign leaders  Tupti Desai entered Haji Ali dargah in Mumbai at 6 am today. The entry of the women rights’ activist ended up in a scuffle between police and her supporters leading to shutting down of the dargah for the day.

She was accompanied by a group of activists and police officials.

However, according to the sources, Desai has not entered the inner area of the dargah where the tomb of Sufi Haji Ali situated. After the episode, the activist said that she was praying for women to be allowed to enter the inner sanctum.

Trupti Deshaai along with other activists in Mumbai had started a campaign against the practice of banning women from entering the religious places like temples and dargah and had managed to enter Shani Shingnapur temple in March.

Earlier, in her attempt to enter the Dargah, she was faced severe criticism from locals and other Shiv Sena leaders. The Samajwadi Party, All-India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, Awami Party and other Muslim social and religious organisations had protested against her.

“All women are allowed inside the dargah on adhering to rules, regulations and traditions that concern respect for religious sentiments. What is the need for her to come in a procession when women have always been permitted in the dargah? But they cannot go to the tomb of Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari,” trustee Suhail Khandwani said.

Trupti, leading a campaign for women’s right to worship in templeshad, earlier said that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) must allow women to become its members.

“The Bharatiya Janata Party was elected to power on the basis of women’s votes. Women should be allowed to join the RSS to which the BJP is affiliated,” she said.

The demand was promptly opposed by Kanta Nalawade, vice president of the BJP’s Maharashtra unit who said Desai should focus her energies on other issues concerning women instead of making “ridiculous demands”.