Are We Not Women Workers Too? The Devadasis Petition the Government of Travancore

[When sex workers began to organize in Kerala early in the twentieth century, people accused them and their supporters of importing new-fangled ‘Western’ ideas and corrupting the morals of local people. But they were mistaken — even though I would want to think more before saying that the devadasis were foremothers of the sex workers who, for example, Nalini Jameela represents, I can firmly say that the devadasis of Travancore looked at themselves as workers, as may emerge from the small paragraph they added to the text they borrowed  from the memorandum submitted by the Madras Devadasi Association to the Royal Statutory Commission of Indian Reforms (1929) for their own petition (in Malayalam) to the Travancore government in 1929] Continue reading “Are We Not Women Workers Too? The Devadasis Petition the Government of Travancore”

For Dalit Women’s Representation: Women of Pratyaksha Raksha Daiva Sabha

[Below is the retrieved part of a petition that was submitted to the Protector of Depressed Classes in Travancore by the women of the Pratyaksha Raksha Daiva Sabha, which represented not just the spiritual but also (indivisibly from it) the material rebirth of the dalit people in parts of Travancore]

[From V V Swami, E V Anil, Pratyaksha Raksha Daiva Sabha: Orma, Paattu, Charithrarekhakal, Adiyardeepam Publications,p. 259] Continue reading “For Dalit Women’s Representation: Women of Pratyaksha Raksha Daiva Sabha”