Courts should keep off matters of faith: Shiv Sena

Mumbai, April 4 (IANS) Against the backdrop of the Bombay High Court’s ruling giving women the equal right to pray in places of worship, the Shiv Sena on Monday urged courts to keep off religious issues.

“Matters of religion should not be dragged to and decided by the courts but should be resolved amicably by mutual discussions by society peers and religious seers,” an editorial in the Sena mouthpiece “Saamana” said.

It pointed out that even today there was a debate on whether the revered saint Saibaba of Shirdi in Maharashtra was a Hindu or a Muslim but the courts cannot decide this as it was a matter of faith.

Similarly, the courts cannot say with finality that Lord Ram was indeed born in Ayodhya and this should be decided by the elders in the society.

In the same vein, the Sena urged that the the issue of whether women should be permitted to go up to the deity at the Shani Shingnapur temple at Ahmednagar in Maharashtra should be left to the temple trustees, the villagers and the devotees.

Referring to the high court ruling, the Sena questioned whether this would also applicable to women fighting for similar rights in Muslim places of worship.

The Sena said the courts must speak up with conviction that equal rights must be given to all women – since that would help the cause of women’s empowerment.

In this context, the Sena pointed out how Maharashtra has always been at the forefront in the campaign for women’s equality and great social reformers like Mahatma Jyotirao Phule and Maharishi Dhondo Keshav Karve were even ex-communicated because of their efforts.

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