Women as temple priests: An idea whose time has come

Why we need to permit women as a priest? 

Context: Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Minister PK Sekar Babu’s remark that women could be appointed priests in the 35,000-odd temples in the state is long overdue. 

Two major criticisms against the entry of women: The fear of women coming in contact with men, and notions of purity and pollution, especially associated with menstruation. 

Reasons to open up temples to women priests: 

  • Raj Kali Kuer vs Ram Rattan Pandey 1955 case: This judgment notes that many priestly offices in Indian temples were hereditary. The Supreme Court held that women have the right to succeed to religious office. 
  • The authority of men, or of Brahmins, to conduct rituals is not literally vested in any religious texts including Srimad Bhagvad.  
  • Completing the Bhakti revolution: The single biggest achievement of the Bhakti movement is elevating the dignity of the emotion among the public and marginalising the ritual conformism of Brahmanism. So, the Opening up of inner sanctum ritual to all people is in line with completing the Bhakti revolution 


Now it is time for not only Hinduism, but also for all other religions to liberate religion from patriarchy 

SourceThe Indian Express 

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