ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Spiritual versus the Temporal

Prejudices obstruct the rights of women worshippers.

The struggles by groups of Hindu and Muslim women to lift bans on entry into some places of worship have been in the public limelight over the past year.

In 2007, the Indian Young Lawyers Association had soughtdirection from the Supreme Court to strike down the ban on entry of women between 10 and 50 into the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple in Kerala. The media coverage of a recent round of these hearings has fuelled interest and controversy even as the Bhumata Brigade began an agitation in mid-2015 demanding that women beallowed into the inner sanctum of the Shani Shingnapur temple in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. More or less at the same time, the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, which has filed a petitionbefore the Bombay High Court to demand entry into the mazar of the Haji Ali dargah in Mumbai, stepped up its campaign.

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