Tamil Nadu has
witnessed a historic moment as three women successfully completed training to
become temple priests. This landmark event marks a significant shift in a
society steeped in tradition, where women were previously barred from serving
as temple priests.
The Tamil Nadu
government, under the leadership of Chief Minister M K Stalin, celebrated this
achievement as a "new era of inclusivity and equality." These
trailblazing women, S Ramya, S Krishnaveni, and N Ranjitha, underwent rigorous
training at the Archakar Payirchi Palli, affiliated with the Sri Ranganatha
Swamy Temple in Srirangam.
to train women as temple priests was revived by the current DMK government,
reinstating a program initiated back in 2007. After completing their initial
training, these women will spend another year honing their skills in prominent
temples. Following this, they will be considered for priest appointments based
Ramya, a graduate
with an MSc in Mathematics, made the decision to pursue this path when she saw
an opportunity for women of all castes to become priests. She acknowledged the
initial challenges of learning the intricate mantras but expressed her determination
to excel in her newfound role.
P K Sekarbabu,
the Minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments, noted that while
some temples in the state already have women priests, this achievement paves
the way for more women to join priest training schools. The government aims to
overcome any potential resistance to women serving as temple priests.
In a heartening
development, the latest batch of trainees includes 17 girls, showcasing the
growing interest among women in this sacred role. This transformation in temple
practices aligns with the changing times and challenges traditional norms.
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