On Sunday, Tamil nadu minister Sekar Babu announced that women who are trained in “Agama Sastra” can be appointed as priests in Temples. “Agama sastra” is a manual for worship and rituals in temples. As soon as the announcement was made, debates started taking place in the state between two set of people who support and oppose it. Many expressed their disappointment over the doors of temple opening for women.
The minister said that they would be considering all those aspects and other practical aspects such as “five day leave for women” to stay away from rituals during menstruation. Madras High court, in 2008, through an order, allowed women to take the job of her father who worked as a priest after his demise.
“When media persons asked me [on Saturday] whether women will be allowed to take up the role of temple priests, I said those who are trained in Agama Sastra will be allowed. If there are requests or grievances from women who would love to take up the role of temple priests, we will definitely consider them. The criteria would be their expertise in Agama tradition. If there are such requests, they may be given necessary training and interviewed before we absorb them,” Minister Sekar Babu said to media portals.
However, a set of people who couldn’t accept women conducting Poojas, has been stating various reasons from their perception. A statement made by “BJP Kalyan” whose bio says that he is a Former National Secretary-BJMM, Former Fulltime Worker-ABVP, has created shock waves in Twitter. Through his tweets, Kalyan says that women shouldn’t be allowed to conduct Poojas in temples due to the presence of lustful men in the society.
“If a male priest performs the rituals and gives offerings to devotees without wearing a shirt, there will be true devotees. Their thoughts will be focussed on God. No one would see the priest’s bare body as half-naked.” Kalyan said and went on to interpret an example with a female priest in the same situation. He said “Upis” will enter the temples as devotees and true devotees wouldn’t have enough space to stand.
“They would look at the female priests in an inappropriate way which is enough reason not to make women as priests. I am ready to answer people who has knowledge in Agama” he said in his tweet. Check out his tweets below :
ஒரு அர்ச்சகர் திறந்த மார்புடன் கடவுளுக்கு அர்ச்சனை செய்து பக்தர்களுக்கு பிரசாதம் கொடுக்கும்போது அங்கே உண்மையான பக்தர்கள் இருப்பார்கள். அவர்களின் உடல்-மனத்தை கட்டுப்படுத்தும் ஐம்புலன்களும் கடவுளை நோக்கியே இருக்கும். யாரும் அவரது திறந்த மார்பை அரை நிர்வாணம் என நினைப்பதில்லை.— Kalyan (@BjpKalyaan) June 16, 2021
அர்ச்சகரின் முழங்கை முட்டியை கூட காமக்கண் கொண்டு ரசிக்கும் அளவில்தான் ஆண்டவன் அவர்களின் அறிவை வைத்திருக்கிறான் என்ற ஒற்றை காரணம் போதும் பெண் அர்ச்சகர்கள் கூடாது என்பதற்கு. ஆகமம் குறித்து ஒருவேளை அறிவுள்ள உபிஸ் எதிர்காலத்தில் உருவானால் அவர்களுக்கு கொஞ்சம் அறிவை நான் புகட்ட தயார்— Kalyan (@BjpKalyaan) June 16, 2021
The reasons stated by “BJP Kalyan” sparked outrage in social media platforms with many criticizing his perception towards women becoming priests. Check out some of the reactions below :
What a filthy thought…you are not only insulting womanhood but also insulting people going to temples & that includes Brahmins too….this thread only shows your crude & perverted mentality…SHAME ON YOU …Cultural Renaissance should be in your mind too not just on your profile. https://t.co/zvZ6lCIX77— Dr Sharmila (@DrSharmila15) June 16, 2021
This is an insult to each and every true devotee who goes to temple!— Raj – Double 😷up, 💉, Stay Inside 🏘! (@lkrajkumar) June 16, 2021
He is reducing every devotee to a pervert which is outrageous! https://t.co/sqF6fl68ng
அடப்பிக்காலி பயலே— தோழர்_கபாலி (@kabali_official) June 16, 2021
ஆண் அர்ச்சகர்கள் மாதிரி பெண்கள் திறந்த மார்புடன் பூச பண்ண முடியுமான்னு கேட்கறான்
இது தான் சங்கி புத்தி https://t.co/u7f17p67wm
Bulshit… Any body can be priest but they have to study and practice wat they have to. Period https://t.co/vG39UEOLDK— Pen Queen 👑 (@tweety_rakshi) June 16, 2021