Devdasi is a institutionalized exploitation of women system in many parts of India.It is actually religiously sanctioned prostitution of economically and socially deprived women.These women are mostly untouchables , lower castes or socially deprived women which are exploited by feudal lords , high caste superior men as well the priest of that area.This system inherits the concept of exploitation of socially and economically section of society by upper class people.The priests who have a strong hold on the mind of innocent people and have a right ti dictate their way of life uses their power to religiously saction prostitution under the name of " sacred tradition".Devdasi means gods servant wherein young pre-pubertal girls are given away or married off to local deity of the village or that particular area.They are not allowed to marry or keep any children.She serves the temple , priest and the local feudal lords in every manner , and even other men with money & power in that area.The service which she provides to priest and other men is considered equal to service of god.She has no way to escape and even if she escapes the society wont accept her.The first legal step to outlaw the devadasi system dates back to the 1934 Bombay Devadasi Protection Act. This act pertained to the Bombay province as it existed in the British Raj. The Bombay Devadasi Protection Act made dedication of women illegal, According to this act, marriage by a devadasi was to be considered lawful and valid, and the children from such wedlock were to be treated as legitimate. The Act also laid down grounds for punitive action that could be taken against any person or persons found to be involved in dedications, except the woman who was being dedicated. Those found guilty of such acts could face a year's imprisonment, a fine, or both. The 1934 Act also provided rules, which were aimed at protecting the interests of the devadasis. Whenever there was a dispute over ownership of land involving a devadasi, the local Collector was expected to intervene.In 1947, the year of independence, the Madras Devadasi Prevention of Dedication Act outlawed dedication in the southern Madras Presidency.
I have done my Post Graduate Diploma in Development Communication from Mass communication Research Centre (MCRC) Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi and also holds a Post Graduate diploma in mass.....read more