RSS supports banning women’s entry in Shani Shingnapur temple

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The RSS mouthpiece editorial said amidst a raging controversy over banning women’s entry in the sanctum sanctorum of Shani Shingnapur temple in Maharashtra.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh mouthpiece ‘Organiser’ justified the age-old practice, asserting that arguments of rationalists protesting to end the 400-year-old tradition were wrong.

The editorial read, “In case of Shani Shingnapur, there is a 400-year-old tradition of banning women from entering its sanctum sanctorum. The women activists from Bhumata Brigade, led by Trupti Desai, tried to forcefully enter the temple to break this tradition.”

Though there can be genuine concerns regarding space for women, the arguments of the rationalist protestors in support of challenging the tradition are wrong on at least three counts.”

Titled ‘Reformation through respectful dialogue’, the editorial said, “Liberals, seculars, rationalists, feminists are against the alleged discrimination against women in religious affairs right from Sabrimala to Shani Shingnapur.”

“While in Sabrimala, entry women between 10 and 50 years is banned due to ritualistic practice and tradition, in Shani Shingnapur there is a 400-year-old tradition of banning women from entering its sansupports ctum sanctorum,” it said.

“The rationalists must explain whether they want to worship God by force or respect other people’s sentiments. People who don’t have the courage to question the practices in organised religion should do away with this age-old practice,” the journal said.

“In both the cases, it is a matter of faith. The trustees, villagers and devotees of both the places believe that tradition has some reason which has to be followed. Rationality has no place in faith or tradition.