Believe it or not, but there was a time in the early 19 th century when women in Kerala had to pay a Mula karam or breast tax to be able to cover their chest with a cloth. Fast forward to years later and the tussle between making a Muslim woman wear a burqa and trying to force her out of it is still on. It makes you wonder whether it is even about how much or how less a woman wears.
I was sitting in my OPD, a few months back when a patient was brought in. She was a frail lady in her seventies, accompanied by her husband and their grown up daughter. When the door opened itself, one could appreciate the strong smell of pus emanating from somewhere around.
The village-legend of Nangeli is about an Ezhava woman who lived in the early 19th century at Cherthala in the erstwhile princely state of Travancore in India and supposedly, cut off her breasts in an effort to protest against a caste-based " breast tax ". Multiple historians have documented that uncovering one's breasts was revered as a symbolic token of homage from the lower castes towards the upper castes in the state of Travancore and a state law prevented this covering which served to demarcate the caste hierarchy in a prominent manner and often served as the core locus of spontaneous rebellions by lower castes. A breast tax or mulakkaram was supposedly imposed by the landowning king on lower caste Hindu women, which was to be paid if they wished to cover their breasts in public and was further assessed in proportion to the size of their breasts.
Mulachiparambu is a northern suburb of Cherthala town in Alapuzha district of Kerala. It means the plot of the Mulachi, where Mulachi signifies a woman of breasts. We may also call her the woman of brave breasts. At the beginning of the 19th century there lived a brave woman called Nangeli or Nancheli the beautiful one in Cherthala.
However, many years ago, there existed an unparalleled kinship between the two communities, which was nourished with breast milk. In his Facebook post, Delhi University assistant professor and Nadapuram native Yasser Arafat elaborates on how Muslim babies were breastfed by Hindu women in his home town. Arafat came out with the Facebook post in the wake of a video of a Muslim religious speaker Simsarul Haq Hudavi appearing on social media in which he exhorts his community members to desist from taking part in Onam-Christmas celebrations as it amounted to polytheism.
The magazine has pictures of two women breastfeeding infants one of them is a modeland is filled anecdotes from mothers. What inspired this radical campaign was a Facebook photo of a year-old mother, Amritha, feeding her one-and-a-half month old baby. Published by her husband in January, the photo sparked a lot of conversation on open breastfeeding and the campaign was launched immediately after this.
It took the team from C-MET four years to develop the device, which is currently being prepped for a commercial release. O f all forms of cancer, breast cancer has the highest rate of incidence in India. Data says that one in every 22 women develop it.
As Ambedkar has rightly argued, there is a religious-persecution angle on caste practices and untouchability. When brahmanical caste system and patriarchy were established in Kerala as religious norms by the 10th century, the Avarna or untouchables clung on to Buddhism and refused to submit to Brahmanism. That is why the adherents of Hindu Brahmanism resorted to inhuman, barbaric torture and public humiliations. Imposed on them by bloody violence, baring of breasts by Dalitbahujan women before the caste lords, especially the Brahmins, became a convention that lasted over a millennium.
Thiruvananthapuram: Creating a safe and comfortable zone for lactating mothers during journeys, a startup mentored by the Kerala Startup Mission KSUM has launched a project for installing state-of-the-art breastfeeding pods at three railway stations in the state. Christened Domatio, the new age breastfeeding pod has already been set up in Thrissur Railway Station and the facility will be opened in Thiruvananthapuram Central and Ernakulam South in the coming days. It is designed to help women comfortably breastfeed infants in public places such as shopping malls, restaurants, hospitals, zoo, bus stand, and railway stations.
V Lakshmikutty in at the time of the breast cloth struggle in Velur, Thrissur and three years ago as she turned This dehumanizing practice that followed genocidal violence came to currency around the 8th century when Brahmanic Hinduism was established here subverting Buddhism through a hegemonic nexus between patriarchal priestocracy and the militia clans and continued up to the 20th century. Brahmanic patriarchy and its Savarna subservient Sudra foot soldiers were maintaining this inhuman convention in the name of the Sanatana Hindu religion and its sacred purity tradition with bloody repression and violence for all these years at least with regional variations.