sábado, octubre 23, 2010

MATHAMMA : The Mother Goddess

 todo lo hacen en nombre de "Dios"  y de la "tradicion"...

Mathamma: The Mother Goddess

Director: Parthiban Shanmugam
Producer: Parthiban Shanmugam
Genre: Drama
Produced In: 2008
Country: United States

In the South Indian State of Andhra Pradesh, a young girl named Meena is raised in a long-entrenched tradition of community-sanctioned abuse. As a lower-caste girl, Meena can be forced into the role of a Mathamma (or Sacred Mother), a living goddess, and sexually abused by male villagers for blessings. As an adult, Meena fears for her own daughter Radha's safety. Village heads continue to forcibly select new Mathammas, usually between the ages of seven and 13. These girls are then publicly auctioned to men, and then dedicated to a life of sexual abuse. Afterwards, the Mathamma moves from home to home, where wives make way for her to share their beds with their husbands, considering the child rape a godly act. The HIV prevalence in these villages is unknown, but in the fall of 1995, Andra Pradesh reported an HIV infection rate of one in every two hundred people. Exposing the dark side of ancient traditions through the example of one victimized family, Mathamma leaves no stone unturned in speaking for the injustices committed in the name of faith.

"Mathamma" is a film shot on locations in Andhra Pradesh, India. It is a story of one woman's struggle against the terrible tradition of Mathamma worship, where low-caste village girls are thrown into child prostitution.

ver pelicula en

Mathamma Liberation Movement For the Elimination of Human Trafficking under the name of Tradition

What is MATHAMMA??- and why we focus on the Mathamma issue??

Among Dalits, there are some sub castes in Tamil Nadu/ South India that have the practice of Mathamma. This practice exists as religious and cultural practice among these section of Dalits (especially shoe-maker castes such as Arunthathiar). They worship the goddess called "Mathamma" and they belive that the goddes Mathammas has the healing power. When girl child falls ill, the child is taken to Mathamma temple and is left there at the mercy of goddess Mathamma.

However the reality of Mathamma is exploitation of Dalit women. When the child reaches puberty, she is married to the goddes. The "Pottu" Thali, symbol of marriage, which is on the neck of the goddes will be removed and this Pottu Thali is tied to the girl by other women. From then onwards, she becomes a public property and belongs to the temple. Regardless of age they are dedicated as Mathammas.

During Temple festivals the girl who has become Mathamma has to dance in public. Whenever and wherever festivals occur she is taken to that festival to perform EROTIC DANCES. While she is dancing, men of all ages watch her dance, and frecuently some of them come closer to her, touch her, tease her, pin rupees to her blouse and touch her body at any place they like.They accept this humiliation and she cannot complain this to anyone- she cannot refuse to dance.

If Mathammas would like to have a partner, they can live with a man. However, mathammas cannot legally marry men- because they are already married to the goddess. They believe that the man who marries her, will either die or lose his eye sight. They think it as a curse if they marry Mathamma. Thus, men who wish to get marry with Mathammas get pressure from their family and community, and sometimes those men are pushed to commit suicide themselves. Or, sometimes men, who already have a wife, come close to mathammas only to exploit them and leave them after impregnating them- and the mathammas cannot claim the man who lives with his legal wife.
Therefore, frequently mathammas have become sex workers and some of them acquire HIV and die due to AIDS. Although girls became mathamma in order to cure the illness, they have to face more dangers on their health because of exploitation as mathammas.


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