As, I was going on some random site hunt I came across a topic which is factual, interesting, weird and disgusting at the same time. I thought this would be a something that can be shared and learn something from our past.History has also fascinated me due to it’s unimaginable things that we humans have to go through. Specially, when your rights had been stripped off and your life is dictated by someone else.
In the early 1800’s, when the British ruled India the Brits were heavily asking tax from all the government and states. Those days India was still divided into small countries and states, ruled by different Kings and Rulers. Due, to this pressure the King of the state of Travancore, now known as Kerala started a weird tax system.
Those were the days where the caste system was at it’s height. Clothing were considered a luxury and only for the richer and upper caste including brahims, Kshatriyas and vaishyas. The lower caste including shudra and Dalits were not allowed to cover their upper torso and if they did so they were very heavily taxed.
This meaned the lower castes women were completely naked in the top and their Breast very very visible. On top of this humiliation the royal officials of the King would travel door to door and any one who had passed the puberty were subject of the tax.To put more disgust in this part they would touch the breast with their bare hands and the tax would be rated depending upon the size of the breast.
Some say the system of the tax was to humiliate the lower caste other historians have stated that this was simply to maintain the caste system. Clothing was considered the sign of wealth and prosperity and lower caste were simply not entitled to that.In 1859 two women were stripped in public for wearing the clothing to hide their top part and later they were hanged as punishment.
The end to this disgust for whole humanity.
When once the tax collector was collecting this heinous tax, a lady named Nageli who belonged to Ezhava caste did something unimaginable to any.She simply cut of her breast and placed then in plantain leaf and presenting to the tax collector. Later on she died of the excessive bleeding and her husband committed sucide by jumping in the fire of her burning dead body. This was also the first male sati done in the history.
The death and the sacrifice of the brave Nageli didn’t go in vain. It sparked a huge protest by the locals in the state of Travancore.It pressured the King so much that he feared for his life and also under the pressure of the governor of Madras, he finally granted the right for the lower caste and everyone else to be able to dress up and cover their breast. It was in the year 1924 when this weird and disgusting tax system came to an end.
After reading this, it shocked me a bit to what extent people can go to humiliate other being. Here in Nepal, I often hear the problem arising between the caste, even no matter how much the country has progressed and people educated the topic of caste system still lives. I do not have any idea why this stupid thing came to its existence, we all breathe same air, the same sun and I believe as the saying goes- We are all created equal. I hope one day this thing of castes will come to an end and we will be united as a whole. No more barriers between us and we all together can move towards the progressive life to live.