What Is Devadasi System?

By Berry Mathew

Are you curious to know what is devadasi system? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about devadasi system in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is devadasi system?

The Devadasi system, also known as the Jogini system or temple prostitution, is a practice that was prevalent in some parts of India where girls were dedicated to temples and forced into a life of sexual servitude. In this blog post, we will explore what the Devadasi system is, its history, and its current status.

What Is Devadasi System?

The Devadasi system was a religious practice that was prevalent in some parts of India, particularly in the southern states, dating back to ancient times. Under this system, young girls, often from poor or low-caste families, were dedicated to a particular temple as servants of the deity. These girls were often trained in dance and music, and were expected to perform various rituals and services in the temple.

However, as time went on, the Devadasi system became corrupt and exploitative. Girls who were dedicated to temples were often forced into a life of sexual servitude, where they were expected to provide sexual favors to the temple priests and other wealthy patrons. These girls were often subjected to physical and sexual abuse, and were considered outcasts in society.

History Of The Devadasi System

The origins of the Devadasi system can be traced back to the ancient practice of dedicating young girls to temples as servants of the deity. These girls were often highly respected in society and were seen as living embodiments of the divine.

However, over time, the Devadasi system became corrupted, with girls being forced into prostitution and sexual slavery. The British colonial government banned the practice in the early 20th century, but it continued to exist in some parts of India, particularly in rural areas.

Current Status Of The Devadasi System

Today, the Devadasi system has been officially abolished in India, and it is illegal to dedicate young girls to temples as Devadasis. However, the practice still exists in some parts of the country, particularly in rural areas where poverty and lack of education are prevalent.

Despite the ban, there are reports of girls being forced into prostitution and sexual slavery under the guise of the Devadasi system. Many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are working to raise awareness about the issue and provide support to girls who have been affected by the system.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Devadasi system is a practice that was prevalent in some parts of India, where young girls were dedicated to temples and forced into a life of sexual servitude. While the system has officially been abolished in India, it still exists in some parts of the country. It is important for society to raise awareness about this issue and work towards providing support to those who have been affected by the Devadasi system.

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FAQ

What Is The Concept Of Devadasi?

Devadasi is a name given to a girl ‘dedicated’ to a deity in a temple for worship and service of the deity for the rest of her life. This was prominent in southern and parts of western India. The dedication of the girl takes place in a ceremony similar to marriage and is called ‘pottukattu’.

Who Destroyed The Devadasi System?

Following their successful capture of Nothern India, the Mughals started destroying Hindu temples, in an attempt to spread Islam. This rendered the Devadasis institution-less and forced them to fend for themselves. With the destruction of temples, the Devadasis lost their patronage, and there began their exploitation.

Does The Devadasi System Still Exist?

The Devadasi system was formally outlawed in all of India in 1988, although social and economic pressures on mostly Dalit families have ensured that the Devadasi system is still widely practiced illegally.

Can A Devadasi Marry?

Practised in various parts of India, the jogini or devadasi system takes young girls, often before they attain puberty, to be married off to a deity. The girls then act as temple caretakers, and are considered ineligible to ever marry a human.

What Is Devadasi Law In India?

The Devadasi system was abolished on 9 October, 1947, through the Madras Devadasi Act. The law gave Devadasis the legal right to marry. It also made it illegal to dedicate girls to Indian temples.

What Is Devadasi Explained?

Devadasi, or mahari, means “those great women who can control natural human impulses, their five senses and can submit themselves completely to God (Vachaspati).” Mahari means Mahan Nari that is, the woman belonging to God. Sri Chaitanayadev had defined Devadasis as Sebayatas who served God through dance and music.

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