Pay for hiding your Breast. Belive it or not, there was Breast Tax in India
Believe it or Not, there was Breast Tax in India
Women has to pay Money to cover their Breasts :-(
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. Fast forward to 200 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. Or is it just the context? The context being drawing the lines women can or cannot cross. Looking back into history, it becomes more and more obvious that it isn’t specifically about what women are being forced to do, but that laws and social norms always have a say over it more than women themselves.
How it end up:
Nangeli was a Ezhava woman who lived in the early 19th century at Cherthala in the erstwhile princely state of Travancore in India. She questioned the mulakkaram (breast tax) system that existed during that time, by which women of lower caste were required to pay a tax to cover their bosom in public. She refused to either uncover her bosom or pay the breast tax. When the pravathiyar (village officer) of Travancore asked her to pay tax, she chopped off her breasts and presented them in a plantain leaf to him. She died the same day due to loss of blood.
Also indicating protest of the breast tax, her husband 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).
Novelist Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai's grandson Raj Nair announced a Malayalam movie Mulachi (meaning breasted woman) based on Nangeli's story. It was reported that he was in talks with Angelina Jolie to do the lead role in the movie.