Print edition : December 27, 2013

Kanthimathi (left) and Gowri (right) who served as dancers in the court of Maharaja Sayaji Rao Gaekwad III (1875-1939). According to www.sangeethas.wordpress.com, they were sent as part of the dowry package of princess Chimnabai I of Tanjavur, when she got married to Gaekwad in December 1880/January 1881. Photo: THE HINDU archives

Dr Muthulakshmi Reddy. Photo: The Hindu Photo Archives

Students of Kalakshetra Foundation performing "Sita Svayamvaram" in Chennai. Photo: S.R. Raghunathan

An interpretation of the role played by the Dravidian movement in liberating devadasis from “sacred slavery” kicks up a controversy in Tamil Nadu.
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