“Devadasi”, a devastated profession

March 13, 2011 17:45 0 comments

The “devadasi” are a social group of girls who are “married” in childhood to the goddess, and then sold for sex when they hit puberty. On first look, any outsider would immediately feel that this system is wrong and an objectification of women.

Indeed, devadasi literally means “slave of god”… but there is more than one side to this story, a story layered with history, moulded by social climate and analyzed by sceptical foreigners. A story that is explored in British director Beeban Kidron’s new documentary, “Sex, Death and the Gods”, which will be shown 20th March at 4 p.m., hosted by the Front Line Club.

The documentary depicts the complicated life of the devadasi: once the elite lovers of princes and priests, the women allowed social mobility and the dancers of the temple and court, the devadasi were made illegal in 1947 as the British left India. Now, the devadasi are formed when mothers marry their daughters to the goddess, and then sell them for sex when they hit puberty.

After they are ordained, the girls are usually pulled out of school, because they are more likely to rebel if they have an education. However, the children born to these girls will be more likely to get an education than their peers, because their mothers understand that an education means a possible way out.

Not all women are looking for a way out, though, and many feel that being a devadasi gives them more freedom than being married would. At least with this life, they are able to make their own wages and feed themselves, and not have to listen to a husband tell them how much they can eat or what they can buy.

The documentary shows the women in all their various guises, and lends a historical understanding to the devadasi, as well as shows the difference between the public perception of the girls and what life is really like for them.

As Kidron points out, the devadasi are often scrutinized by foreigners, who say that it is wrong for these girls to become prostitutes and that they would sooner become prostitutes themselves than force their daughters to, but those on the outside do not really understand the culture and have never had to make a decision like that. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with the director.

More information visit www.frontlineclub.com/events

Share it / Compartir:

Leave a Reply


*



The Prisma News

  • Culture, Globe, Latin America, Listings, Screen “The Revenant” and its state of grace

    “The Revenant” and its state of grace

    This film is enjoying the influence of its director, whose cinematographic codes are increasingly evident in commercial cinema. And perhaps this latest film is the most important.   Alain Planells   The media uproar concerning the film awards days has almost provoked a loss of awareness in...

    Read more →
  • Comments, In Focus The messiness of life

    The messiness of life

    February starts and it may be a good time to think about the messiness in our lives. Almost seventy years ago, Gregory Bateson wrote his metalogue “Why do things get in a muddle?”, in which ‘tidiness’ seems to be a particularly limited concept with which we are able to act in a complex world.     ...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus The cult of Corbyn

    The cult of Corbyn

    Research shows that the Labour Party has attracted 40,000 new members since Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the party.   Jeremy Corbyn – Free Photo Youtube Steve Latham   Morale has surged among left-wingers, confident now that their fortunes are secure from counter-attack from moderate forces. MPs...

    Read more →
  • Comments, Europe, Globe, Human Rights, In Focus, Politiks Afghanistan braces itself for the worst

    Afghanistan braces itself for the worst

    But the worst, if it hasn’t already arrived, is likely to do so very soon. This was indicated in a report by TOLOnews, an Afghan news channel, revealing that 9,996 security incidents and attacks were recorded in the country last year.   Ariel Barredo Coya   As a result of this wave of violence, around...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Listings, Multiculture, Our People, Screen, Uncategorized “El Club” to atone for sins

    “El Club” to atone for sins

    The Chilean film, which deals with child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and what happens to its members when they commit a crime, was nominated for the Golden Globes this year and will be screened in the UK and Ireland on the 26th March.   Juanjo Andrés Cuervo   The story centres on four...

    Read more →
  • Economy, Globe Stop Fracking now!

    Stop Fracking now!

    Those who took to the oil markets following the great energy and financial crisis of 1973 – in a decade when former President Nixon stopped shoring up the dollar with gold and when international foreign debt experienced a sharp rise – are now taken aback by the current prices of crude.   Luis...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus Life on Mars?

    Life on Mars?

    Scientists have discovered water on Mars; an exciting breakthrough in the search for extra-planetary life, because it is one of the main building blocks, requirements, for life to evolve.    Steve Latham   OK, so it’s only probable, not definite; and even if there is, then it will only be microbial,...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Listings, Screen “One World Media”, awards against inequality

    “One World Media”, awards against inequality

    The gala, which presents projects that address issues regarding social injustices, celebrates its 28th edition in June. Since its emergence in 1988, it has become one of the most prestigious British events in the journalistic world. In order to participate, the project must have been published, transmitted,...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Globe, Listings, United Kingdom, Visual Arts African art in “The power of a woman”

    African art in “The power of a woman”

    An exhibition of paintings at the Gallery of African Art will be in London until Februeary 6th.   The cultural images on show have been painted by the Nigerian artist Nike Davie-Okundale. She is the director of four art centres and owns the biggest gallery in West Africa. Besides that, for the last...

    Read more →
  • Comments, In Focus, Lifestyle, Okology Mr. Mayor, what are we doing to the environment?

    Mr. Mayor, what are we doing to the environment?

    Growth and development is a well-publicised goal, but the argument over whether it is viable or sustainable will continue, because those who have assumed political and economic power carry on selling this fallacy which promises a non-existent paradise.       John Elvis Vera Suarez   But what is...

    Read more →
  • Comments, Culture, Globe, In Focus, Latin America, Lifestyle, Ludotheque, Visual Arts The balance room

    The balance room

    The “The balance workshop” consists in the exploration of space and the body. This is how the author of this ludic text explained the workshop, shared in Amag.*   Photo: Pixabay María Consuelo Martín Cardinal   In the big whale there was a wonderful room to experience balance. To enter one had...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus Slavoj on sex

    Slavoj on sex

    Slavoj Žižek asks a question at the beginning of his book “Trouble in Paradise”: “What if, in our postmodern world of ordained transgression, in which the marital commitment is perceived as ridiculously out of time, those who cling to it are the true subversives? What if, today, straight marriage...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Lifestyle, Ludotheque, Pages, Visual Arts Comics: Between  Invention & money

    Comics: Between Invention & money

    Through his trail of mysticism and philanthropy, Alan Moore is a legend in the world of comics and his images have become modern symbols of irreverence and even worship for some.   Alan Moore Ibis Frade   The father of V for Vendetta launched and popularized the Guy Fawkes mask and – perhaps...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus A Marxist God?

    A Marxist God?

    Comrade Bala, leader of a revolutionary sect who also claims to be God, has been imprisoned for sexual crimes and assaults on his female acolytes.   Aravindan Balakrishnan Steve Latham   Aravindan Balakrishnan formed the “Workers’ Institute of Marxism-Leninism Mao Zedong Thought” during the 1970s,...

    Read more →
  • Comments, Globe, In Focus, World Russia leaves the accomplices of IS exposed

    Russia leaves the accomplices of IS exposed

    The shooting down by Turkish fighter planes of a Russian jet that was attacking IS and other terrorist groups, has finally unmasked Washington and its allies as accomplices of this scourge.   Vladimir Putin Jorge Petinaud Martinez   While the Russian president Vladimir Putin warned that “the stab...

    Read more →
  • Comments, Globe, In Focus, United Kingdom Culture as disability

    Culture as disability

    If we need everybody to work together, how can it be right to accept the cuts to disabled people’s support?   Mabel Encinas   Culture is both the result and the process of working together. However, each person has their own experience of a culture depending on the place in which they participate...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus We have been disarmed

    We have been disarmed

    The Turner Contemporary Art Gallery in Margate is an imposing and impressive, modernist concrete block built by the beach, very cool.   Steve Latham   An initiative by former Young British Artist, turned art establishment figure, Tracy Emin, the gallery is part of an attempt to spark the regeneration...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus Down and out in London 2015

    Down and out in London 2015

    John is living in an old gas heating cupboard. It’s part of an office block, and the security guard lets him stay, because he feels sorry for him.   Steve Latham   But, he says that the cupboard is warm enough, because it’s in the middle of the block, which is itself well-heated. He...

    Read more →
  • Comments, Economy, Europe, Globe, In Focus Greece: fighting to put an end to debt

    Greece: fighting to put an end to debt

    This country is nearing the close of a tumultuous year, which was profoundly marked by three milestones in the calendar when its citizens took to the polling stations to express their desire for change and the need to end five years of tough austerity measures.   Antonio Cuesta   The legislative...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Music, Screen Director Johanna Schwartz:  “They will have to kill us first”

    Director Johanna Schwartz: “They will have to kill us first”

    In Johanna Schwartz’s new documentary we see the effects of fundamentalist morality on Mali’s traditional and contemporary music. It shows the importance of music as a force for unity in a multi-ethnic country. “We musicians are the walls of the house”, as one of them says.   Johanna Schwartz Graham...

    Read more →