Women's rights

High court lifts ban on women entering Haji Ali's inner sanctum, but stays order for six weeks

While the bench found the curb unconstitutional, the shrine's trustees have sought more time from the Mumbai bench as they want to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The Mumbai High Court on Friday lifted the ban that barred women from entering the inner sanctum of the Haji Ali Dargah. However, it stayed the order for six weeks after the Haji Ali trust sought time to challenge the verdict in the Supreme Court, ANI reported.

A two-judge division bench of the court, comprising Justice VM Kanade AMD and Justice Revati Mohite Dhere, was hearing a plea by activists and the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan. It found that preventing women from entering the dargah goes against Articles 14, 15, 19, and 25 of the Indian constitution, which deal with the right to equality, the right against discrimination based on gender, freedom of movement and freedom of religion. It had also directed the state and the Haji Ali Trust ensure that women entering the dargah are safe.

The shrine's trust had banned women from entering the mausoleum in 2011, saying it was a "grievous sin" in Islam for women to be in close proximity to the grave of a male Muslim saint. Earlier in the year, Bhumata Rangragini Brigade leader Trupti Desai visited the dargah, but she was stopped from entering the premises on April 28. After her visit, she had said the administration should relax thesir restriction on allowing women inside the inner sanctum.

Desai had earlier campaigned for women to enter the Shani Shingnapur Temple in Maharashtra. She, along with other activists of her organisation, were detained while trying to enter Nashik's Trimbakeshwar Temple. In April, the high court ruled that women should be allowed into all places of worship where men are given entry.

Support our journalism by paying for Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Bringing the glamour back to flying while keeping it affordable

The pleasure of air travel is back, courtesy of an airline in India.

Before dinner, fashionable women would retire to the powder room and suited-up men would indulge in hors d’oeuvres, surrounded by plush upholstery. A gourmet meal would soon follow, served in fine tableware. Flying, back in the day, was like an upscale party 35,000 feet up in the air.

The glamour of flying has been chronicled in Keith Lovegrove’s book titled ‘Airline: Style at 30,000 feet’. In his book, Lovegrove talks about how the mid-50s and 60s were a “fabulously glamorous time to fly in commercial airlines”. Back then, flying was reserved for the privileged and the luxuries played an important role in making travelling by air an exclusive experience.

Fast forward to the present day, where flying has become just another mode of transportation. In Mumbai, every 65 seconds an aircraft lands or takes off at the airport. The condition of today’s air travel is a cumulative result of the growth in the volume of fliers, the accessibility of buying an air ticket and the number of airlines in the industry/market.

Having relegated the romance of flying to the past, air travel today is close to hectic and borderline chaotic thanks to busy airports, packed flights with no leg room and unsatisfactory meals. With the skies dominated by frequent fliers and the experience having turned merely transactional and mundane, is it time to bid goodbye to whatever’s enjoyable in air travel?

With increased resources and better technology, one airline is proving that flying in today’s scenario can be a refreshing, enjoyable and affordable experience at the same time. Vistara offers India’s first and only experience of a three-cabin configuration. At a nominal premium, Vistara’s Premium Economy is also redefining the experience of flying with a host of features such as an exclusive cabin, 20% extra legroom, 4.5-inch recline, dedicated check-in counter and baggage delivery on priority. The best in class inflight dining offers a range of regional dishes, while also incorporating global culinary trends. Other industry-first features include Starbucks coffee on board and special assistance to solo women travellers, including preferred seating.

Vistara’s attempts to reduce the gap between affordability and luxury can also be experienced in the economy class with an above average seat pitch, complimentary selection of food and beverages and a choice of leading newspapers and publications along with an inflight magazine. Hospitality aboard Vistara is, moreover, reminiscent of Singapore Airlines’ famed service with a seal of Tata’s trust, thanks to its cabin crew trained to similarly high standards.

The era of style aboard a ‘flying boat’ seems long gone. However, airlines like Vistara are bringing back the allure of air travel. Continuing their campaign with Deepika Padukone as brand ambassador, the new video delivers a bolder and a more confident version of the same message - making flying feel new again. Watch the new Vistara video below. For your next trip, rekindle the joy of flying and book your tickets here.


This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Vistara and not by the Scroll editorial team.