While I struggle everyday to not get embedded amongst my peers and friend as a housewife, I came across a shocking article published in the Wall Street Journal about the now legally abolished, yet highly prevalent practice of ‘Devadasis’ in India.
The article titled, ‘Where virginity is for sale in India’, talks about the obnoxious and extremely unfair tradition of selling girls that have reached puberty to the man who pays the highest. This horrid tradition has existed in various forms in the Indian society. In most of the remote villages in India (the article highlights the example of the southern village of Andhra Pradesh), girls at a very tender age are handed over to the religious authorities at the temples under the disguise of being god’s servers. As these girls reach puberty, they are secretly auctioned to the highest bidder and forcefully made to serve as prostitutes for the rest of their lives.
As the article highlights, these young women, depending on their attributes of the cultural background or lineage they belong to have either one rich buyer (a man who has a wife and family in the village and who purchases this young girl as his keep purely for entertainment purposes.
Alternatively, if these women have few or no buyers, they would be open for business to the other available men, who cannot afford to buy them entirely for themselves. As disgusting as this sounds, the practice of ‘devadasi’ is still very much prevalent in the country. And if this wasn’t bad enough, the law makers as well as the law keepers, turn a blind eye to this.
In the recent times, many social and non-governmental organizations have come forward to help these women, either by rescuing them or by providing an opportunity to educate themselves and in turn earn a livelihood. But unfortunately, the orthodox and rigid society in the Indian villages haven’t been able to accept them as people who are worthy of living and leading a normal life.
In India, women aren’t considered to be equals. Many a times, they are not considered to be human beings. Their presence is considered as disgrace and their opinion has no ears.
I agree the society has progressed a lot. And an excellent example of this would be me. Having received the best education and opportunities in the country, I can exercise my rights and help the world see the darkness in the Indian customs and traditions.
But this doesn’t help the fact that more than 75% of the women in India are still waiting to be heard. They are still waiting to be treated as normal people with needs. One look at the numbers on female infanticides will tell you the disastrous state of the female child. Sex determination in India is as illegal as smoking weed in the world. But just like the other corrupt systems, medical clinics sell their souls to reveal the gender of the child. As expected, a female child is either aborted inside the womb, buried alive or drowned in a well at birth.
It is not uncommon in India to hear elders advising young brides to have a baby only if it is a boy. What time period are we in again?
In this, my endeavor, I’m going to expose and highlight the absolutely inhuman and stinking culture conditions that have suppressed women in India since time has existed. Here’s an excellent article to begin with: