Has the involvement of Bhumata Brigade founder Trupti Desai within the movement to cozy women sameaccess to the Haji Ali dargah been a boon or a curse?
It has virtually positioned up the backs of the male Muslim political establishment, all of whom were at Mumbai’s landmark shrine inside the sea on April 28, waiting to blacken her face, protect the shrine andcarry out different manly feats.
perhaps the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, the Samajwadi birthday party, the Indian Union Muslim league, the Awami Vikas birthday party and the Shiv Sena’s Haji Arafat Shaikh might had been therebesides to counter a dharna introduced by way of the newly-formed Haji Ali For All forum. but there mighthad been no character target for them to recognition their anger on since the discussion boardcontains many corporations – a few made of Muslims, which include Muslims for Secular Democracy,maximum of the others blended, including the All India Democratic ladies’s association, and somepredominantly Hindu.
The Desai provocation
Is the issue of same get entry to for ladies to the Haji Ali dargah a ladies’s issue, a non secular issue, orboth? And have to Hindus be taking the lead in it? these questions got here to thoughts as occasionsplayed out at the doorway to the dargah final week.
proper where devotees had been coming into, a collection of Muslim guys led by Haji Arafat Shaikhkeeping placards and banners protecting the Sharia, loudly declared their competition to individuals whowanted same get right of entry to for girls. All devotees heard their message loud and clear.
a little distance away, cordoned off, now not within the path of dargah-goers, have been the Haji Ali for All protestors, a blended group of men and women, Hindus and Muslims. What they were disturbing may want to neither be heard nor seen via any devotee, but the television cameras had been there to conveytheir message to the arena.
Many dharnas are held knowing that they won’t attract a great deal public interest, however theorganisers hope media insurance will compensate. but in this situation, would the media have been there in such big numbers if Desai, who has waged a excessive-profile battle towards Hindu temples which havetraditionally prohibited the access of girls into their sanctums, turned into not expected there?
After her fulfillment on the Shani Shingnapur temple, Desai had declared on tv that her next stop would be the Haji Ali dargah. without delay, a Muslim political and social employee forwarded this creator a textual content message that he had sent to Mumbai’s Police Commissioner, describing her assertion as a provocative act that might cause communal problem.
It definitely turned into provocative.
A Muslim combat
From the times of Shah Bano – the divorced Muslim lady against whom the Muslim establishment ganged up within the 1980s to the extent that she had to forego her proper to upkeep from her husband that had been granted to her by using the excellent court – it’s been an axiom among innovative–wonderingHindus, that the combat for equality for women inside Muslim personal law must be fought by usingMuslims. Hindus can only assist them. once Hindus take the initiative in one of these fight, what is adisagreement among conservative and liberal Muslims will become a Muslim-Hindu fight. “We don’t needHindus interfering in our non secular affairs,” say Muslim leaders, and the complete community closes ranks.
This information has come to Hindus after having labored closely with Muslims and seen the siege mentality that marks maximum minorities anywhere, however particularly Muslims in India, and extra sonowadays, while an associate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh guidelines Maharashtra and theunited states.
Shah Bano misplaced her combat in 1985. A era has grown up because. today, throughout the us of a, Muslim women are hard private laws, and being supported by using many greater Muslim guys than Shah Bano become. this is the time for Hindus who care for girls’s rights to pop out absolutely in support of Muslim women.
but Trupti Desai wasn’t supporting the Muslims – ladies and men – combating for equal get admission toto the Haji Ali dargah. She become taking up a motion that was set off three years ago via a group of Muslim ladies – the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan. on account that then, the Andolan has filed a petitionwithin the Bombay excessive courtroom on this call for, and have gained vocal help now not simplyfrom the usual handful of liberal Muslim men and women, however additionally from male social activists from the Muslim mainstream in Mumbai.
although the final choice lies with the excessive court docket, the movement has turn out to be a broader difficulty within the community. given that women have no regulations in other dargahs in Mumbai and some place else, the trustees of the Haji Ali dargah have started to appear to be a mainlyrigid bunch of fellows out of track with nowadays’s Muslims.
A supportive function
Desai’s entry into the scene modified everything. on the Haji Ali For All dharna, there had been few Muslimwomen. Many had been anticipated however have been stopped with the aid of their households whohave been fearful that this wouldn’t be the standard peaceful harmless demonstration their women wereused to attending with their Leftist colleagues. The motive become Desai’s tv announcements from the morning that she was going to enter the dargah.
This wasn’t the plan of the Haji Ali For All forum, stated its individuals Javed Anand and Feroze Mithiborewala. that they had deliberate handiest a dharna to inform the arena that Muslim liberal voices, which supported the demand for entry for all, existed. It was a first step in a system that might spreadrecognition within the network, and possibly even lead to a communicate with the dargah trustees.
The dharna have been introduced at a press conference in which Trupti Desai had been present. She had, on the time, fallen in line with the collective programme. but at the morning of the dharna, she reverted to her personality of an iconcoclast out to breach all traditions that saved women away from places of worship.
Anand and Mithiborewala said they tried to attain her all day, however controlled to do so handiest at fourpm, whilst the dharna changed into already on. by 5.15 pm, whilst she landed up, it was dispersing. butwho observed the dispersing protestors?
Photographers and boys in white kurta pyjamas and inexperienced scarves ran in the direction of her car, the latter banging on it. different boys followed, asking each different: “so that they blackened her face,proper?” clearly, the police didn’t permit Desai to step out. The whole motion for Haji Ali for All becamedecreased to a defiant Desai. Print media coverage centered on her individual combat with the police officers that night time.
Why changed into she invited at all into what was essentially a Muslim warfare? each Anand and Mithiborewala disagree with this characterisation, pointing out that the establishments that include theirforum are mixed, and that the difficulty is a women’s trouble.
So became Shah Bano’s, but adore it, Haji Ali too is predominantly a Muslim issue. in any case, Hindus can also go to dargahs however they stay broadly speaking Muslim places of worship.
the fear that Desai might anyway cross in advance and release her own Bhumata Haji Ali entry, whichcould have subverted the Haji Ali For All movement, appears to have brought about the forum to ask her to their press convention. The enjoy thereafter changed into now not high-quality.
but the Haji Ali warfare cannot additionally be disassociated from Desai. Her successful breach of male bastions of Hindu worship has led to the inevitable query being posed via Hindutva supporters who arefighting a losing battle with modern trends of their community: “you may bring about reform insideHindus, would you dare to do so inside Muslims?” That turned into a undertaking that had to be met notjust via Muslims, however also those Hindus who supported the entry of girls into their temples.
however the solution to that question is apparent: If a Hindu had led the fight for equal access into temples, Muslims have to lead the combat for access into their places of worship. Trailblazer she can be,however Trupti Desai’s function in that fight must be simplest supportive.