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Exploitation of Scheduled Caste Women: A Devadasi Cult


  • Pratibha Desai


Woman carrying a jag (metal mask) in a Pardi (basket) on her head and begging is known as Devadasi, (Servant of God). This ceremonial system is called “jogava” in Marathi. She maintains herself by begging and ends up her life in brothel. We know that religion is a complex phenomenon, which pervades with a vast range of human activities in the society. It emerged with the belief in power, superior to human being and directs him to destiny and controls the nature. Its practical dimensions are expressed through a number of ways in the form of culture of the society. The religious scriptures always play a major role in the development of culture enriching language and literature. In spite of all merits of religion, one cannot overlook number of aberrations, crimes, superstitions and exploitation in the name of religion. In India Devadasi cult is such a religious practice, under which a girl is dedicated to or married not with mortal man but to idol or object of worship or to a temple. The paper attempts to find major reasons behind for persistence and continuity of this cult.

Suggested Citation

  • Pratibha Desai, 2007. "Exploitation of Scheduled Caste Women: A Devadasi Cult," Journal of Global Economy, Research Centre for Social Sciences,Mumbai, India, vol. 3(4), pages 287-293, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:jge:journl:347

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    More about this item


    Indian Economy; Cult; Devadasi; Rural economy;

    JEL classification:

    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty


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