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400 Indian women plan to defy temple-entry ban

A scene from Shani Shinganapur Temple. (Facebook/ Temple Connect)

At the inner sanctum of the Shani Shingnapur temple in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, women are banned. So on January 26, when Republic Day is celebrated in India, 400 women from the group Bhoomata Ranragini Brigade plan to defy the ban and enter the temple in protest of gender discrimination.

Tripti Desai, president of the organization, call the ban “a symbol of gender inequality which cannot be tolerated in the 21st century.” The group plan to meet the chief minister to press for the laws to change. “If the CM decides to lift the ban on women, the temple trustees will have to comply,” she said.

In the past, Maharashtra Rural Development minister Pankaja Munde has drawn criticism for defending the ban as an “age-old tradition.”

“What’s wrong in that?” she asked. “There are several Hanuman temples where women are not allowed to enter. Each temple has its own rules.”

Read the full story at Times of India.

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