Devadasi prevalent since Chola Period

Q.  Who is a Devadasi?
- Published on 15 Feb 16

a. Girls or women allowed doing puja in a temple
b. Girls/women dedicated to worship and service of a deity
c. Girl servant during the Vedic and later Vedic period
d. None of the above

ANSWER: Girls/women dedicated to worship and service of a deity
  • In South India, a devadasi is a girl "dedicated" to worship and service of a deity or a temple for the rest of her life. Recently the devadasi system has started to disappear, having been outlawed in all of India in 1988.
  • Condemning the prevalence of the illegal practice of “dedicating” young girls as Devadasis, the Supreme Court described the practice as an “evil” done to women, who were later even subjected to sexual exploitation and pushed into prostitution.
  • Taking a stern view, a Bench of Justices F.M.I. Kalifulla and S.A. Bobde directed all States and Union Territories, especially Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh; to strictly enforce the Centre’s law to check “undesired and unhealthy” practice of forcing young girls to serve as Devadasis.
  • The practice of Devadasis system violates Sections 370 and 370 A of the IPC as amended through the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2013.

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