Saturday, September 03, 2016

Women at Haji Ali Dargah

- by Deepa Krishnan

Haji Ali dargah has been in the news lately, because of the agitation to allow women into the sanctum. I went there a couple of years ago, when we were not allowed to access the mazar (mausoleum). There was a side-door, through which women could go up to a certain point. 
Thus far and no further
Closest that women can get to the tomb
Given the way the access is organised, with multiple gates and enough space for queuing, it would be really easy to ensure equal but segregated access to the mazar for men and women. Women don't particularly want to jostle with men, anyway. It could work just like a traffic light, no? If we can manage cars, why not humans? 

To deny women and allow only men, is a really jaundiced view of the world. The sooner we change such mindsets, the better.
Prayer area outside
I posted a series of 30 photos, showing the common areas, as well as the women-only areas. You can see the photos here, on the Mumbai Magic page. This is a beautiful shrine, and should be accessible to everyone.