Thursday June 27, 2019

Shani Shingnapur Temple puts an end to discrimination

a door opened to equanimity

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the shani shignapur

A group of women on Friday created history when they prayed at the well known Shani Shingnapur temple here by pouring oil on the five-feet tall idol of Lord Shanidev.

The development took place shortly after the Shani Shingnapur Temple Trust declared that women would be allowed to enter and pray at the open-to-sky platform from now on.

Trustee Shalini Lande pointed out that the Bombay High Court had ruled that there was no law to prevent women from entering any place of worship.

“Yes, we have taken this decision. We shall now finalise other details like how and when women can go and worship there,” Trust chairperson Anita Shetye told IANS.

For over four centuries, women have been barred from stepping onto the high platform on which stands a black stone — symbolising Lord Shanidev, the personification of planet Saturn.

From 2010, even men were barred from climbing onto the platform on grounds of safety. But on Friday, a few village youths barged through the steel barricades and offered prayers.

Bhumata Ranragini Brigade president Trupti Desai, several women activists, women from the Sonai village and neighbouring towns trooped to the temple too after and Trust decision.

They were allowed to enter and pray peacefully in the evening, breaking centuries old traditions.

An unidentified woman had unknowingly done the prayers in November last year, setting off a chain of events which finally culminated in a victory for gender equality on Friday.

Trupti Desai, who was one week ago prevented and assaulted while trying to climb on the temple steps, experienced a sea change when she offered prayers, oil abhishek and flowers on Friday amid cheers by a large number of people.

Friday’s decision was welcomed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

In January, the temple trust overturned another old practice and unanimously elected Anita Shetye as its first ever woman chairperson and another woman as a trustee.

On April 1, a division bench of Bombay High Court had ruled that under the Hindu Place of Worship (Entry Authorisation) Act, 1956, women could not be barred from any place of worship.

The court directed the state government to take pro-active steps to ensure compliance with the law, saying “it is the fundamental right of a woman and must be protected”.

The government said it was totally opposed to gender discriminaton.

A day after the verdict, a group of women were stopped from entering the temple complex.

The unique open temple has no walls or roof. A self-emerged (svayambhu) five-foot black stone stands on a platform and is worshipped as Lord Shanidev, in the centre of the small village.

Shani Shingnapur is known as the only village where houses do not have doors and locks, and yet it remains theft free.

Even the UCO Bank’s branch in the village does not have locks on its doors.

Belief has it that thieves cannot steal or burgle in the village which is protected by Lord Shani and misfortune would befall anyone who steals. IANS

Next Story

Why Do Women Face Higher Heart Disease Risk after Breast Cancer? Find Out Here!

The cardiovascular effects may occur more than five years after radiation exposure

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Women, Heart Disease, Breast Cancer
Heart disease appears more commonly in women treated for breast cancer because of the toxicities of chemotherapy. Pixabay

Researchers have found that postmenopausal women with breast cancer are at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

“Heart disease appears more commonly in women treated for breast cancer because of the toxicities of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and use of aromatase inhibitors, which lower estrogen,” said JoAnn Pinkerton, Professor at the University of Virginia.

The cardiovascular effects may occur more than five years after radiation exposure, with the risk persisting for up to 30 years.

“Heart-healthy lifestyle modifications will decrease both the risk of recurrent breast cancer and the risk of developing heart disease,” Pinkerton said.

Women, Heart Disease, Breast Cancer
Researchers have found that postmenopausal women with breast cancer are at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Pixabay

The goal of the study was to compare and evaluate risk factors for cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women who are survivors of breast cancer and women without breast cancer.

For the findings, more than 90 postmenopausal breast cancer survivors were compared with 192 postmenopausal women.

The researchers found that postmenopausal women who are survivors of breast cancer showed a markedly stronger association with metabolic syndrome, diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypertriglyceridemia and abdominal obesity, which are major risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

The risk of cardiovascular mortality similarly increased to match death rates from cancer itself.

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“Women should schedule a cardiology consultation when breast cancer is diagnosed and continue with ongoing follow-up after cancer treatments are completed,” she added.

The study was published in the Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society. (IANS)