Devadasi Practise in some Southern Parts of India

Devadasi Practise in some Southern Parts of India

What is the news?

More than 36 years after the Karnataka Devadasis (Prohibition of Dedication) Act of 1982 was passed, the State government is yet to issue the rules for administering the law.

Meanwhile the practice of dedicating young girls to temples as an offering to appease the gods persists not just in Karnataka, but has also spread to neighbouring Goa.

About Devadasi Practise

  • Devadasi system is a religious practice whereby parents marry a daughter to a deity or a temple.
  • The marriage usually occurs before the girl reaches puberty.
  • In addition to taking care of the temple and performing rituals, these women also learned and practiced classical Indian artistic traditions like Bharatanatyam and Odissi
  • They had a high social status as dance and music were an essential part of temple worship.
  • Eminent personalities that have hailed from this community are Bharat Ratna M S Subbalakshmi and Padma Vibhushan Ms

 Present Situation

  • In recent decades, the practice has been used to push young girls into prostitution.
  • While various state governments have enacted laws to stop such practices, the tradition remains entrenched in some parts of the country, especially some southern states.

Laws against the practise

  • The practice of Devadasi system in any form is in total contravention of the provisions of Section 370 and 370A as amended through Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013as well as Section 372 of Indian Penal Code.
  • It is also against Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act.

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