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This Woman Cut Off Her Breasts To Protest Against Tax

Women were not allowed cover their body.

This Woman Cut Off Her Breasts To Protest Against Tax
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D uring the 1900s, a part of India was affected with by an inhuman practice against women.There was a tradition that prevailed in Travancore which did not allow the women to cover their upper bodies. This was basically for the lower-class women, where baring of the chest to higher status was considered a sign of respect, by both males and females. And only upper-class women belonging to Namboodiri, Brahmin, Kshatriya and Nair clans were allowed to cover their breasts.

Covering of breasts was considered a crime.

Covering of breasts was considered a crime.

The practice continued till the mid 19th century.

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Fearing punishment, all women chose to keep their bodies uncovered.

Fearing punishment, all women chose to keep their bodies uncovered.

Order of the breasts being cut.

Order of the breasts being cut.

Once when a queen saw a dalit woman in the palace covered with clothing, she ordered the latter to have her breasts cut off.

The Breast Tax

The Breast Tax

British rulers had enforced a 'breast tax' on women, which required women in lower caste to pay tax if they wanted to cover their upper body.

There was a lady, Nangeli, who revolted.

There was a lady, Nangeli, who revolted.

She belonged to the coastal town of Cherthala in Kerala and fought against the Breast Tax, also known as Mulakkaram.

She refused to bare her breasts.

She refused to bare her breasts.

Uncover her body as well as to pay the tax.

Something shocking

Something shocking

When Nangeli was forced to pay her pending taxes, she chopped off her breasts and placed them in the plantain leaf on the floor.

This led to her death. 

This led to her death. 
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Nangeli lost her life the same day due to heavy blood loss. Also, in support of this, her husband, Kandapan jumped into her funeral pyre.

The king annulled the tax soon after that. 

The king annulled the tax soon after that. 
via

Later, the place came to be known as Mulachipa rambu, which in Malayalam means 'the land of woman's breasts'.

The images have been taken from here, which are by the artist T Murali.

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