For the first time, the Tamil Nadu government has trained three women as temple priests at an Archakar Payirchi Palli – an institution for the training of priests.
This heralds a “new era of inclusivity and equality”, said Chief Minister M K Stalin. He said that even at a time when women were becoming pilots and astronauts, they were not allowed to become priests in many temples. “Because it was deemed impure, even in temples for female deities. But finally, change is here… Women are also now stepping into the sanctums, bringing a new era of inclusivity and equality,” he said.
S Ramya, S Krishnaveni, and N Ranjitha underwent training at the Archakar Payirchi Palli associated with the Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple in Srirangam, near Tiruchirapalli. Such institutions for priests’ training were revived after the current DMK government came to power in 2021, resuming a programme that was initiated in 2007 by then chief minister M Karunanidhi.