Shani Shingnapur row: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar proposes 'Tirupati' model

Pune: The Art of Living Foundation founder and spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Saturday proposed “Tirupati Balaji darshan model” as a solution to break the impasse on gender bias at Shani Shingnapur temple.

Sri Sri mediated on the issue by holding separate meetings with the trustees of the temple and Bhoomata Brigade leader Trupti Desai, who had recently led an agitation against the traditional ban on women at the temple's sacred 'chabutara' (platform) at the temple.

"There are two models for darshans by devotees namely Kashi Vishwanath and Tirupati Balaji. This solution is based on the Tirupati Balaji model where no one- men or women, are allowed in the inner sanctum," Sri Sri Ravi Shankar told reporters.

"No one (both men and women) will step on the sacred chabutara and all will have darshan of the deity from a distance of three feet away from it. Thus there will be no gender discrimination," he said.

However, Desai said that she was not satisfied with the formula evolved by Sri Sri. "We are scheduled to meet Maharashtra Chief Minister next week. We hope he will take a proper decision on the issue backing women's rights to end gender bias at religious places," she told the media.

On January 26, 400 women volunteers led by Desai made an unsuccessful attempt to storm the inner sanctum of the Shani Shingnapur temple. They were stopped by the police at Supa village, 70 km from the shrine.

(With agency inputs)

News24 Bureau