Breast tax, also known as mulakkaram or mula karam, was a form of tax imposed on lower-caste women in parts of India during the 19th and early 20th centuries. This tax was levied on women who wanted to cover their breasts in public and was primarily imposed by upper-caste men as a means of asserting their dominance over lower-caste communities.
This practice not only had financial implications but also led to social discrimination, humiliation, and exploitation of women from lower castes. Women who could not afford to pay the breast tax were forced to expose their breasts in public, which resulted in their marginalization and subjugation.
Today, the breast tax has been officially abolished, but its effects can still be seen in the form of discrimination and violence against women from lower castes. It is important to understand the historical and societal roots of this oppressive practice to work towards building a more equitable and just society for all.
A bit tired of this "breast tax=tax on upper garments" claim. First image is Cochin rani less than 100 years ago; second is a Brahmin family. People were topless in Kerala, across castes. pic.twitter.com/wDXWJ0SztP— Manu S Pillai (@UnamPillai) May 10, 2022