Complete Rehabilitation of Devadasi Women and their Children
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I urge through this petition that, the Government and civil society have to work towards the Complete Rehabilitation the Devadasi women and their children through the holistic approach by giving them Shelter and Employment Opportunities.
In Northern Karnataka when people say Devadasi means the women is the devotee of Goddess Yellamma.
the cult Devadasi (they are called by a few different Names: muttukattisikondavalu, Sacrosanct, Prostitute, Virtuous, Artist, Authority, Casualty, Sex Laborer, Favorable, Slave of the God, Cloister adherent, Moving Prostitute, Female Worker of the Divinity) the kind of temple dedication of the women and young girl around the time puberty to the goddess Yellamma (in Karnataka state) (few different Names: Holeyamma, Renuka, Durgamma, Maremma) in the form of ritual marriage with deity performed by the Priests. ‘More often the marriages were carried out due to the conspiracy by the dominated upper caste landlords, zamindars and even petty kings and the priests’. In South India, almost all the devadasis are belonging to the Untouchables or Dalits because of their lower status in the socio-economic conditions which are “prerequisite” to devadasi system. Here I argue that who gave this power to the temple priests to decide the social constructions to devote women and the young girl to any Goddess.
Commoditization and sexualizing the women bodies and their identities looking from the point of view of oppression, physical and sexual harassment:
So commoditization of young girl body from the lower family was the inherent concept in this process. Around her puberty time, the girl was treated by upper caste male as a body which will complete his sexual desires. Based on this idea we can say that prostitution serves as a platform for the dominance and control by the male sexuality over the female sexuality, this is the form of sexual slavery (Ishita Gupta).
But what about that girl who doesn’t want to perform the sexual activity and the male merely treat her body as his entertainment object? Nobody in her family thinks about this systematic physical and sexual harassment caused by upper caste male dominant society who set up this system desiring to have sex outside their family. Because they created the dilemma in the people’s minds about the goddess that if they don’t follow the ritual devotion they will be suffering from the ills and greater problems in their lives. This led to devote even when they have a single girl in the family by the lower caste. They cannot even resist because the power of dictating was there in the hand's upper caste priests and wealthy men.
Because of the poverty, even her parents of the girl treated her as the economic asset. To earn their livelihood they forced the girl to become a Devadasi. By looking at her starving family for daily food the girl sometimes accepted to become a Devadasi then to prostitution.
I don’t understand what was the “Logic” in this system that mother and children will not inherit anything from their genetical father? They cannot use his name and surname in their birth certificates and they cannot inherit any property from the father. So what about the life ahead of those children, how that woman will take care of the family? For all these questions there is no answer in the Devadasi system because the system initially was connected to temple administration from where they use to derive some sort economic benefits. The actual stigma that lies here, the children of the Devadasi women are much stigmatized than the Devadasi women. They are not respected with dignity no matter whatever growth they achieve through their abilities. General society always looks at them as the “impure birth”. The children of the Devadasi women sometimes ask themselves “why I have born in this family. I would not have born at all” because people always disgrace them in the society by asking who is your father and all the family background. I urge that here at this point the Government and civil society have to work towards the Complete rehabilitation these women and their children.
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