Fadnavis welcomes Shani Temple breakthrough, says religion never discriminates on basis of gender

, 3:14 PM IST

Mumbai : Following the Shani Shingnapur temple’s announcement that both men and women will henceforth be allowed to enter the inner sanctum of the temple, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today welcomed the decision and said religion never discriminates on the basis of caste or gender.

“The state government has taken the same stand from the very beginning and we filed an affidavit in the High Court that there should be no discrimination. Today, they have decoded on this issue and we wish that after today, no one needs the police to get ‘darshan’. Religion never discriminates on the basis of caste or gender,” Fadnavis told the media here.

The Shani Temple had earlier broken the 400 year old tradition to permit into the inner sanctum of the temple.

“Anyone can enter the sanctum and the committee can’t stop them from entering. The rule was that men and women both can worship god (darshan) from the lower part of the temple, but when men entered the sanctum then it became our responsibility to also let women enter,” Nana Sahib Bankar, vice-president of the Shani Shingnapur Trust, told the media here.

He said that the temple had been following an ancient custom but added that they had no objection in welcoming the court’s order.

Earlier today, around 100 men were seen storming into the inner sanctum of the holy place, defying the Trust’s orders.

On the festive occasion of Gudi Padwa, with hundreds of devotees in line to worship, a mob of men arrived outside the temple and stripped to their undergarments as they barged aside the security to enter the inner sanctum of the temple and pray at the holy site.

Meanwhile, activist Trupti Desai will also be reaching the site to finally enter the inner sanctum again. (ANI)