Will go to Sabarimala on Nov 16 when temple door opens, says activist Trupti Desai

Madhuri Adnal

New Delhi, Nov 14: Women's rights activist Trupti Desai, has once again vowed to offer prayers at the Sabarimala temple on November 16, the day, temple portals opens its door. Announcing her pilgrimage to the Sabarimala temple, Desai also hopes that the larger bench will not overturn the September 28 judgement, and said she will visit the shrine on Saturday.

Speaking to media, she said,''I understand that till Court order comes, entry is open for women. No one should protest. Entry will be allowed.''

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court, in a 3:2 judgment, has referred the crucial Sabarimala case to a larger Constitution Bench. The constitution of the larger bench will be decided by the new Chief Justice of India.

In the dissenting note, Justices Nariman and Chandrachud say that the Muslim and Parsi women are not even before this court in the present batch of petitions.

Hailing from Kolhapur district, Desai's family moved to Pune around 20 years ago. She was dropped out of SNDT College in Pune due to her family's poor financial condition. Later, she completed her BA as an external student from Pune University. Her close associates say her father is a spiritual leader who runs a 'mutt'.

Desai had earlier spearheaded campaign for women to be allowed into various religious places including Shani Shingnapur temple, the Haji Ali Dargah, the Mahalakshmi Temple and the Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple.

Desai had earlier successfully led the agitation for the entry of women into the inner sanctum of Shani Shingnapur temple in Maharashtra in April 2016.

Earlier on April 2016, Desai made an attempt to enter the Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai. Desai claimed that she received a death threat if she again tried to enter the dargah.

On the same year 12 th May, Desi made a successful second attempt and entered the mosque under tight security but not in the inner sanctum where women are not allowed.

On November 2018, Desai had made an unsuccessful attempt to visit the Sabarimala temple in Kerala during the Mandalam-Makaravilakk pilgrim season. The temple had legal as well as religious restrictions that prevented the entry of women of menstruating age (approx. 10-50 years) since 1991 which was overturned through a historic verdict by the Supreme Court of India in October 2018.

Even though a dozen women of menstruating age group had attempted to visit the temple after the verdict came, all of them proved unsuccessful largely due to protests. Trupti was also blocked by protesters at Cochin airport. She decided to return after getting stranded inside the airport for more than 14 hours and vowed to come back again.

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