Speaker to Discuss the Devadasi and Human Rights in India

Speaker to Discuss the Devadasi and Human Rights in India

11/07/2017 

The 2017-18 Rozanne M. Brooks Lecture Series at SUNY Cortland takes on the theme of “The Culture of Human Rights and Realities.”

The talks take place on Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. in Moffett Center, Room 2125. Before each lecture a reception to welcome the speaker starts at 4 p.m. in the Rozanne M. Brooks Museum, Moffett Center, Room 2126.

On Nov. 8, Shalini Aiyappa, who heads the Psychology Department at St. Aloysius College in India, will give a presentation on the Devadasi system, a story of sexually exploited women from the lower rungs of society in rural India.

Her talk, “The Devadasi and Human Rights: Blind Faith, Promised Redemption and Patriarchal Prison,” explores the irony that this culturally oppressive system has a religious connection that legitimizes and sanctions prostitution. The belief is that any calamity, disease or lack of a male child can be rectified by sacrificing a girl child to appease the god.

Recently poverty has driven expansion of the Devadasi system. For example, 50 percent of Mumbai prostitutes are Devadasi. The path from ritual role to commercial prostitution in the name of religion is a human rights issue.

The Indian constitution guarantees equality to all citizens and the government has passed legislation against the Devadasi system. Nonetheless, it is still practiced, relying on loopholes in, and the laxity of, the law enforcement agencies. The inhuman practice of “religious prostitution” continues today. 

The 2017-18 Brooks Lecture Series is sponsored by a grant from Auxiliary Services Corporation (ASC) and the Cortland College Foundation.

For more information, contact Sharon R. Steadman, a SUNY Cortland professor of sociology/anthropology, lecture series organizer and Brooks Museum director, at  607-753-2308. 


More News

Ending plastic pollution is topic

Ending plastic pollution is topic

Biology educator, researcher will speak April 24 for SUNY Cortland’s Earth Day week.


Student Select 2024 lists winners

Student Select 2024 lists winners

Exhibition showcases best studio work of 50 Art and Art History majors.


Cortland Challenge 2024 is April 17

Cortland Challenge 2024 is April 17

Supporters get even more gift match opportunities this year to help their favorite Cortland cause.


Dowd Gallery presents Student Select 2024

Dowd Gallery presents Student Select 2024

Fifty art students compete for the top prize, to be announced Wednesday, in this annual, juried exhibition.


SUNY Cortland recognized for election encouragement

SUNY Cortland recognized for election encouragement

For a second time, the university is honored for its voter education, registration and turnout efforts.


Transfer students inducted into honor society

Transfer students inducted into honor society

Forty-five SUNY Cortland transfer students were inducted into Tau Sigma National Honor Society.


Student research showcased at Transformations

Student research showcased at Transformations

The annual spring conference is a chance to highlight academic excellence on campus.


SUNY Cortland senior earns EOP’s highest honor

SUNY Cortland senior earns EOP’s highest honor

Katelyn Thompson will receive a Norman R. McConney Jr. Award for Student Excellence.


The Big Event Returns April 21

The Big Event Returns April 21

The SGA will follow up on the campus-wide activity during Cortland’s spring administrative meeting on April 22.


Make a Difference Day returns for campus spring cleaning

Make a Difference Day returns for campus spring cleaning

After more than a decade of dormancy, the annual volunteer campus cleanup will return on Arbor Day.