DA Travelography

Haji Ali and the joy of equality

Haji ali 5

 

Haji ali 4

Haji Ali Dargah is one of Mumbai’s most recognizable landmarks and receives tens of thousands of Muslims, Hindus and tourists every week. I remember how eager I was to visit the dargah after the famous A. R. Rahman song  ‘Piya Haji-Ali’ and it indeed was one of the first places to visit after my arrival in Mumbai. But my visit a few weeks ago was different, after the access to the inner sanctum of Haji Ali has now been opened to women. I have been keenly following the story of women’s ban on entering the inner sanctum of Haji –Ali and as when the ban was lifted I planned a day out to shoot without any physical or mental barrier.

 

Haji ali 14

Haji ali 13

 

The ban was imposed by the Haji Ali trustees in the year 2011 stating that – women in close proximity to the tomb of a male saint, was against Islam and would be considered a sin. It is not just the mosque, women entry is being refused in some of the Hindu temples as well, which is a blatant case of gender inequality.

Haji ali 11

Haji ali 10

Haji ali 7

 

In August 2016, the High Court allowed women to enter into the sanctum of the shrine and said that the shrine trust has no power to alter or modify the mode or manner of religious practices of any individual or any group. It is a moment of joy for the ordinary women who were overwhelmed to worship their God, the way they wanted to do and not how it is decided by certain preachers. It was not only about winning a legal battle, but also about giving hope to all those women who choose not to challenge the higher authority.

 

Haji ali 9

Haji ali 2

Haji ali 1

Have you visited Haji ali lately and have seen it in a different light?

3 comments

  1. nice to see u shoot on the subject.
    liked the following 3 photos especially
    – the very first one where 2 girls in dress with haji ali in the backdrop. symbolic indeed.
    – the one where 3 ladies are taking selfies….again contemporary and symbolic
    – the one with boat stuck in the slush with haji ali in the back drop

    best wishes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow DA Travelography on WordPress.com