Shocking Facts About Women’s Breast Tax In Kerala | అక్కడ ఆడవారి రొమ్ములు ఎంత పెరిగితే అంత పన్ను | With Subtitles
Believe it or not, but there was a time in the early 19th century when women in Kerala had to pay a Mula karam or breast tax to be able to cover their chest with a cloth.
Nangeli was an Ezhava woman who lived in the early 19th century at Cherthala in the erstwhile princely state of Travancore in India. She questioned the inhumane mulakkaram (breast tax system) that existed during the time, in which women of lower castes were required to pay a tax to the king of Travancore if they covered their bosom in public. Women from lower castes were not allowed to cover their breasts. If they did so, they were taxed heavily.
Nangeli refused to either uncover her bosom or pay the breast tax. When the pravathiyar (village officer) of Travancore, came to her home and asked her to pay tax repeatedly, she chopped off her breasts and presented them to him in a plantain leaf. She died the same day due to loss of blood.
Also indicating his protest against the breast tax, Nangeli’s husband, Chirukandan, seeing her mutilated body, overcome by grief, jumped into her funeral pyre committing suicide. Following the death of Nangeli, the breast tax system was annulled in Travancore. The place she lived came to be known later as Mulachiparambu (meaning land of the breasted woman).
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