A temple and ashram in Uttar Pradesh’s Hamirpur district were “purified” and the idols in it cleansed with Ganga-water after a BJP woman MLA visited it.Local tradition bars women from entering the Dhurm Rishi temple. According to locals, Manisha Anuragi, a legislator from the reserved seat Rath, had visited the village Muskura Khurd on July 12 to attend a school function in her constituency. She also offered prayers at the local temple.Following her visit, the village residents called for a meeting, where they decided that the premises of the ashram would have to be “purified.” The idols were sent to Allahabad to get “purified” with the waters of the Sangam.“How could she be allowed to enter the temple. No woman has ever gone there,” a villager told journalists. The villagers believe that if a woman enters the temple, a natural calamity would befall them. They claimed that after the visit, they have stopped getting rainfall.Ms. Anuragi said she was hurt by the incident, calling it an “insult” to women.“There is no ban on women from entering any temple. There should not be any discrimination on the basis of gender,” said the first-time MLA.
The Trinamool Congress on Monday took out rallies across West Bengal to protest against the central government’s alleged bias against regional languages in conducting JEE (Main) examination for admission to engineering colleges. The protest programme was, however, not held in areas which were affected by Cyclone ‘Bulbul’, with party workers engaged in relief work. TMC supporters, carrying posters and placards, took out rallies in all the blocks and districts and shouted slogans against the BJP government at the Centre, demanding that Bengali be also included as a language for conducting the JEE (Main) examination. Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee had last week announced that her party would hold State-wide protests on this issue on November 11. The TMC leadership has also organised a mass rally at Mayo Road area in central Kolkata on Monday. Senior TMC leader and nephew of Mamata Banerjee, Abhishek Banerjee, is likely to attend the rally. The TMC supremo is up in arms against the Centre over inclusion of only Gujarati language in the JEE (Main) examination. Noting that she had nothing against Gujarati language, she had said that other regional languages should also have been included in the list. She had claimed that States were not consulted on the decision, a charge dismissed by the National Testing Agency (NTA), which conducts the examination.