Women Were Made To Bare Their Breasts For Men In This Part Of India
- JWB Post
- November 25, 2015
Shockingly, only the lower caste women in then Travancore district of Kerala were not allowed to cover their upper body some 150 years ago. This inhuman practice continued till the middle of the 19th century.
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- Moreover, the Kshatriya women were supposed to keep their chest open in front of a Brahmin (upper caste).
- When the king’s motorcade used to pass through the city, the upper caste women were ordered to shower flowers on the convoy without fabrics on their breasts, to please the king.
But on 26th July 1859, things changed when women there began a fight to end this practice finally. This was, however, resulted in men attacking women as a sign of their non-acceptance. They would physically harm women or tear off their clothes.
It was only in 1814, when the Blue Diwan of Travancore passed the order that women can cover their breasts much to the unpleasantness of the elite men who were not too happy with this order. The battle continued, and in 1829, elite men pressurized the King to stop women from covering their breasts. However many resilient women defied the orders and started coming out of the house covering their whole body.
To avenge their humiliation, anti-upper caste people set shops and houses on fire. However, that time, the English government had come into existence and they forced the King to pass a law that allowed women to cover their breasts.
Finally on July 26, 1859, women received their basic right of wearing clothes, marking an end of three decades of agony.