ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Women, Priesthood and Religious Rights in Tamil Nadu and Kerala

In light of the recent announcement by the minister for Hindu religious and charitable endowments for Tamil Nadu regarding the government’s willingness to facilitate resources and training for women who wish to be priests in temples, the article examines the debates regarding the right of women to Hindu religious realm by revisiting the political episode of women’s assertion of their constitutional right to enter the Sabarimala temple in the neighbouring state of Kerala as well as the gendered dimensions of situating the protests within the larger histories of the self-respect movement and navodhanam .

Countering the Left by Moving Rightwards

The palpable rightward shift of the Congress in Kerala, specifically with regard to Sabarimala, is consistent with the conservative political posturing which the party has for long articulated in the state, especially towards questions around social reforms. However, the present positioning, with its proximity to a narrative of Hindu victimhood, has also gained some new dimensions.
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