Trupti Desai to lead peaceful protest at Haji Ali dargah, seeks Bollywood Khans support for the cause
Mumbai: After spearheading a successful campaign for women's right to worship in temples, a group of human rights activists including Bhumata Brigade leader Trupti Desai will today hold a peaceful protest outside the famous Haji Ali dargah in Mumbai demanding abolishing of century-old tradition that disallows women's entry in the shrine.
“We will have a peaceful protest outside the dargah. We will not enter the inner sanctum of the temple but will go till where men and women are allowed to enter. It is believed that whatever you ask for at Haji Ali dargah comes true, and we shall ask for equal treatment for women,” Desai said.
Desai has also asked Bollywood actors Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan to lend support to the cause, which is aimed at eradicating differential treatment meted out to women at religious places.
"I think Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan should state their stand on what we are trying to achieve here, on our cause... That way I believe that their fan following will join us and support us in our fight for equality," she said.
Last week, Shiv Sena leader Haji Arafat had said that he would not allow her to touch the mazar-e-sharif at the the Hazi Ali Dargah. Arafat, who joined the Shiv Sena after leaving the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena in 2014, said that the attempt by Desai to enter the Haji Ali Dargah is a conspiracy meant to disturb Mumbai's peaceful environment.
On April 20, 'Haji Ali for All' Forum was launched by Desai along with several activists, NGOs and social groups to fight for entry of women to the shrine.
The Maharashtra Government had in February supported the entry of women to the Haji Ali Dargah. The government had told the Bombay High Court that the entry of women cannot be prohibited.
Meanwhile, Desai had on Monday said that Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) should allow women to join the organisation. Desai also said that she has written a letter to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on the issue as part of her campaign for gender equality.
"I think Mohan Bhagwat ji is a progressive thinker and he will respect our stand of entry for women in RSS," she said.