Conservatives might find it hard to digest but young women in
are choosing it as a profession and are becoming Hindu pundits ....sorry…. punditai. Soon you will find women solemnizing marriages. Women performing religious ceremonies are becoming a common scene in eastern Uttar Pradesh. India
The number of women pundits is still negligible in
. But with more and more women candidates queuing up for the Functional Sanskrit course in universities in India the number is sure to increase. India
Dr Asha rai, D.Litt in Dharmashastra, who teaches the subject in
feels that the field should no longer be a male domain and gender bias must end. "Touching a woman purohits feet should not be considered an insult. In ancient times women used to perform rituals and various types of poojas." Lucknow University
As expected, male pundits have already expressed their reservations on women performing pujas. But people who have hired women pundits feel they are far better than their male counterparts.
Interestingly, attitudes seem to be changing now with people who invite women purohits to perform religious processes actually considering it a matter of great prestige. As businessman Pawan Gupta says, "The women pundits who performed the puja at my house recently made the function stand apart. I think compared to male pundits, they have greater clarity and concentration and leave the other participants spellbound."