The Devadasis of South India: Performing Shame in Shame

…shame effaces itself; shame points and projects; shame turns itself skin side out; shame and pride, shame and dignity, shame and self-display, shame and exhibitionism are different interminglings of the same glove. Shame, it might finally be said, transformational shame, is performance.[i]

And shame is not only performance; shame is often also a performative identity thrust upon an individual, a group or a nation. As shame also closely intermingles with respectability, I argue through the course of this paper how identities are formed, transformed and even subordinated within the performative space of shame and shamelessness; how publics and counterpublics interact with each other, performing in shame; and how the counterpublics become the shadow of the former, becoming equally dominating and exploitative in terms of burying the voices that are often burdened with their own shame. I discuss these against the backdrop of the devadasi system in South India, which changed its form and image as identities of publics and nationhood transformed in postcolonial India.


In The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere[ii], Jurgen Habermas formulates the ideas of the ‘public sphere’. As Vivek Bhandari points out, ‘in his work on a theory of “communicative action”, Habermas makes a clear distinction between the “lifeworld” and the “system” – a distinction that indicates a radical rupture between the significance of everyday interaction and interactions made possible by institutions and organizations.’[iii] This Habermasian binary between the ‘everyday interaction’ and ‘interactions made possible by institutions and organizations’ has been challenged, debated, critiqued and scrutinized by scholars like Nancy Fraser, Christopher Pinney and other proponents of subaltern studies. The public sphere, according to them, is itself the ‘zone of contestation’.[iv] They point out the insufficiency of the Habermasian model in the context of a fragmented, caste-divided, complex state such as India, which also has a postcolonial history.

Let me begin by recalling that Habermas’s account stresses the singularity of the bourgeouis conception of the public sphere, its claim to be the public arena in the singular. In addition, his narrative tends in this respect to be faithful to that conception, casting the emergence of additional publics as a late development to be read under the sign of fragmentation and decline. This narrative, then, like the bourgeois conception itself, is informed by an underlying evaluative assumption, namely, that the institutional confinement of public life to a single, overarching public sphere is a positive and desirable state of affairs, whereas the proliferation of a multiplicity of publics represents a departure from, rather than an advance toward, democracy. It is this normative assumption that I now want to scrutinize.[v]

My essay explores the loopholes of such scrutiny as well. Even when such scholars make room for the inclusion of multiplicity and multiple publics, we need to keep in mind the complex politics of representation in this matrix. When Ranajit Guha, the pioneer of subaltern studies, rightfully critiques the failure of Indian bourgeois to ‘speak for the nation’[vi], we cannot overlook the division between the ‘spoken for’ and the ‘speaker’ underlying in these inclusions as well. Is it possible for one to represent and not exclude in the process? The idea of representation itself has the idea of exclusion embedded within it – the ‘represented’ still remain outside the purview of the counterpublics, even if they are a part of a group countering the dominant bourgeois public.

According to Nancy Fraser, ‘in stratified societies, subaltern counterpublics have a dual character. On the one hand, they function as spaces of withdrawal and regroupment; on the other hand, they also function as bases and training grounds for agitational activities directed toward wider publics’[vii]. But one also needs to look deeper into the power structures within these counterpublics – since one might, for the sake of convenience, overlook the loopholes of representation, and therefore the emergence of counter-counterpublics. My paper wishes to establish this impossibility of total inclusion, even as a part of the counterpublics, since discordant, disagreeing [mis]represented subaltern voices remain excluded, and are only audible in a retrospective manner, with the attempt at deeper excavation by revisionist historiography at a micro level.

Nineteenth century social reform in South India was replete with debates regarding the performance tradition of the devadasis. Devadasis were a group of young girls, who were temple dancers. They were devoted to the worship of the deities in temples through the practice of their artistic skills – especially in dance and music. The word ‘devadasi’ literally means one who serves the gods.

In the Tamil speaking areas of South India, devadasis were known as “tevaradiyals” (slaves of the god) and in later years, they had been referred to in day-to-day vocabulary as “thevadial”, a pejorative term representing devadasis as prostitutes….Ancient Tamil literature abounds in references to devadasis. In these texts they were known as “atumakal”, “kontimakalir” and as “muthuvai pendir”. They were also sometimes addressed in this set of literature as “virali” and “patini”. During the medieval period, devadasis who were honoured as women associated with temples, enjoyed some kind of position of power as well as temple wealth as their property.[viii]

These women would be inducted into the devadasi system as little girls, in rituals resembling Brahmin wedding ceremonies. They were considered to be wedded to the gods, and, therefore, were deemed to possess special, mystical powers. Also, they would have men from rich Brahmin families, or wealthy feudal families, as their patrons, with whom they were free to have sexual relationships, without being married to them. But ‘the relationship between devadasis and the landed communities was not merely a sexual contract. They had some ritual status in the patron’s household. The devadasis were invited to perform rituals like marriages in these households and her presence was even considered as auspicious.’[ix] They were, however, prohibited from entering into sexual relationships with accompanying musicians – since they did not belong to the landed gentry or the Brahmin caste.

This tradition of devadasis of ‘serving’ the gods and the men from upper castes or from high social statuses was a public event. They were a part of the daily social life in medieval South India. During the period of colonization, many Western missionaries came to India; and these traditions of socially validated sexual liberty shocked and offended their prudish sensibilities. What is interesting is that the tradition started losing its associations with the sacral and the mystic, when it started being observed, experienced and viewed through the Western lens of colonial encounters. Abbe Dubois, a French bishop who visited India during the eighteenth century, wrote a remarkably dismissive and condescending account of a religious procession in which devadasis figured prominently:

The procession advances slowly. From time to time, a halt is made, during which time, a most frightful uproar of shouts and cries and whistling is kept up. The courtesans who are present in great numbers in these solemn occasions perform obscene dances, while as long as the procession continues, the drums, trumpets and all sorts of musical instruments give forth their discordant sounds. On one side, sham combatants armed with naked sabers are seen fencing with one another, on one side, one sees dancing in groups and beating time with small sticks, and somewhere else, people are wrestling. Those who have nothing to do shriek and shout so that the thunder of the great Indra striking the giants would not be heard by them. As for myself, I never see a Hindu procession without being reminded of a picture of hell.[x]

Thus was planted the first seeds of shame into the body that a devadasi carried, what seemed as ‘obscene’ and ‘sexually deviant’ by the Western observers. The process of colonization could be read as a process of assigning shame as a performative identity that the colonized would be expected to perform. The idea of shame is the idea of being aware of shame, and, therefore, is inherently relatable to knowledge. The colonizer’s patronizing approach towards the colonized, their assumed responsibility to ‘educate’ the ‘uneducated’, to ‘purify’ the barbaric Other can all be considered as the processes of educating the latter in matters of shame and respectability, obscenity and politeness. Tavia Nyongo, in his article, ‘In Night’s Eye: Amalgamation, Respectability, and Shame’, talks about amalgamation as being connected to the idea of transformation that is not necessarily a peaceful, congenial process of sharing:

Amalgamation can describe a process of mixing, one of extracting, or one of transforming. The idea of mixture or blend is the most familiar to us. In the multicultural present, it is almost instinctive. Less familiar is the metaphor of transformation, in which two or more substances are destroyed [italics mine] to produce a new one, or that of extraction, in which a raw material is processed, often with the help of a catalytic agent, to remove its valuable ingredient. The moral lessons derived from mixing, extracting, and transforming are similarly multiple. Purifying, for example, attaches itself more easily to extraction than to mixing. Revolutionizing, in turn, is more connected to transforming than to either extracting or mixing.[xi]

In the process of ‘amalgamation’ during the colonial period, the nineteenth century social reforms in Madras can be said to have led to both ‘transformation’ and ‘extraction’. During the latter part of the nineteenth century, the cultural center in South India was being moved from Tanjore courts to the Madras city. This change in the locus of cultural activities was accompanied by a project of ‘classicization’ by compiling, systematizing, standardizing and editing what existed as orally transmitted music till now. In the 1920s, the Madras Music Academy of Mylapore emerged as the authoritative center for transmission of musical culture and standardizing music in the form of notations.

The project of ‘classicization’ can be read as an attempt by the bourgeois class at ‘purifying’ the disorganized musical culture, and it certainly resulted in ‘extraction’ of the locus from one place to another. The transformation was taking place with the destruction of the oral musical culture, with the rigid texts of notation being composed. Certain regulations were now being imposed on the devadasis too. The idea of shame had already been planted, and it was growing like weeds and spreading in the cultural domain, which was now transformed and extracted to suit the sensibilities of the growing Madras bourgeois class. ‘In 1820, the same court [court of Maharaja Serfoji II, the Maratha king of Tanjore, who was known for his love of music and patronage of the arts] issued a number of regulations regarding the sartorial equipment of dancing girls [devadasis]. Court dancers were forbidden certain kinds of apparel and were to use only particular colours and were restricted to use prescribed modes of conveyance.’[xii]

Claire Pajakzkowska and Ivan Ward define shame as ‘man’s averted gaze and woman’s covered body’, an image directly descriptive of the post-Restoration fresco (Adam and Eve banished from Paradise) by Tommaso Massaccio. While having obvious associations of shame with knowledge, as the shame of knowing shame, Pajakzkowska and Ward also relate issues of agency and passivity to shame. ‘The “raw” meaning of shame is attributed to masculinity and agency whereas the cultural version of shame that has become acculturated is attributed to femininity and passivity. Seeing is the agency of shaming, whereas being seen is the condition for modesty or being seen as shameful.’[xiii]Thus the Western observances of the devadasi rituals that had ascribed ‘shame’ to the practice continued to gain ground as the ‘seen’ responded in the manner of Althusserian interpellation. Also, the close association between shame and sexuality added to the shamefulness of the devadasis. Devadasis, in other words, were ‘doubly shamed’ women – first, because they were dancers and performers, and their performances were essentially meant to be ‘seen’; and second, because they were also engaged in sexual relationships with their patrons without being legally wedded to them.

In his essay, ‘The inherent shame of sexuality’, British psychoanalyst Phil Mollon explains:

Sexuality is frightening for human beings, because its biological imperative threatens the symbolic nature of our socio-cultural world and personal identity….Because sexuality is threatening and frightening, it is repressed or banished from discourse (even in our supposedly sexually liberated society) and is referred to only indirectly. Sexuality, like the body, is clothed. Because sexuality is the fundamental object of repression, it tends to incorporate whatever else is repressed – so that a person’s most shameful and unexpressed needs and narcissistic injuries tend to become sexualized.[xiv]

The idea of embodiment inherent in performance may be considered to be responsible for the sexualization of performance. Not only were the devadasis’ performances sexualized during the late nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries, but the very idea of being seen in the public sphere was sexualized and attached to shame. The public sphere having been extracted from Tanjore and replanted in Madras had gone through transformation in terms of its nature. The public sphere now consisted of the Brahmin middle-class elites instead of the kings and landed gentry. The changing nature of publics necessitated a change in the nature of performance. While notions of newly formed respectability did not allow ‘respectable’ women to be performers, those who were performers were refused ‘respectability’. The devadasis were, thus, transformed from privileged women possessing special powers to degraded prostitutes.

In 1930, a bill was passed abolishing the practice of the devadasis. ‘The bill, which was popularly known as the Devadasi Abolition Bill, declared the “pottukattu” ceremony in the precincts of Hindu temples or any other place of worship as unlawful; gave legal sanction to the devadasis to contract marriage; and prescribed a minimum punishment of five years imprisonment for those who were found guilty of aiding and abetting the devadasi system.’[xv] The Madras Presidency was witness to controversies and debates regarding the abolition. The bourgeois elite, governed by colonial modernity and notions of shame, respectability and shame, wanted to rid the public sphere of the sexuality associated with the devadasis. The sense of morality was shaped by colonial encounters, where the act of shaming by the colonizers was being interpellated by the colonized through the act of being shamed. The transformed identity of the ‘public’ due to ‘amalgamation’ with the European colonizers demanded different set of propriety and respectability.

Their motivation to abolish the system was also defined by a ‘protective’ and patronizing perspective of taking up the onus to ‘purify’ the ‘contaminated’ or save the ‘poor girls’ from ‘prostitution’. Therefore, we can see that the colonial urges of ‘purifying’ were being reenacted by the postcolonial subjects assuming agency for those they deemed helpless and in need of a voice, thus ironically suppressing their voices even further. Vivek Bhandari’s observation that the postcolonial government is similar to its colonial predecessors is useful to consider in this context. (‘These groups were the nationalist elites in the era of colonial modernity and have remained dominant in the postcolonial period.’[xvi]) They represented the ‘progressive’ elites, ‘enlightened’ in Western forms of education.

Muthulakshmi Reddy of the Women’s India Association, who supported the Congress and the Gandhian Constructive Programmes, ‘stated in a letter to Gandhi, “If I haven’t taken a more active role in the present political movement, it is because I place the honour of an innocent girl – saving her from an inevitable life of shame and immorality – even above that of swaraj.”’[xvii] One of the ways she proposed to protect the ‘honour’ of ‘innocent girls’ was by domesticating them in familial bonds and marriages. ‘As part of her programme of domesticating and containing devadasis within the monogamous familial norms, Muthulakshmi Reddy argued that they should be compulsorily married and those men who were willing to marry them should be encouraged with employment, etc. Employment to men, marriage to “dasis”!’[xviii] It is interesting to note how Muthulakshmi Reddy was not only being a part of the mainstream bourgeois ‘progressive’ group, but was also propagating the colonial power relations that were being extended to gender relations too. According to her, the devadasis could gain back honour only if they got appropriated into the patriarchal monogamous marriage structure, and the men with jobs were responsible for ‘protecting’ them and bringing back their respectability. It is rather interesting that her argument does not seem much different from the White man’s justification at colonizing the ‘uncivilized’ Other, who can only be redeemed if appropriated into the dominant culture. When some devadasi associations expressed their non-support for the bill, Muthulakshmi Reddy does not hesitate calling them ‘a set of prostitutes,’[xix] and dismisses their voices as ‘protests from a most objectionable class of people in the society’.[xx]

The other side of the debate was being represented by the ‘conservatives’, some of whom belonged to the Congress Party. S. Satyamurthy, one of the foremost proponents of the anti-abolition movement, was concerned about India losing its cultural traditions with the loss of the devadasi system. ‘He was so committed about the need to perpetuate the devadasi system that he argued that devadasi families should dedicate at least one girl to the Hindu temples instead of many.’[xxi] Other significant supporters of the ‘conservative’ agenda of retrieving cultural traditions were also trying to find a middle ground.

In 1933, E. Krishna Iyer, one of the most passionate advocates of dance and music, stated that the art required not only to be “rejuvenated but also to be overhauled to have real appeal. As it is, it is mostly confined to erotic songs”. He identified some specific compositions, with erotic overtones, to be eschewed. In 1944, the Madras Academy even invoked the need to jettison “unsastraic mudras” not in consonance with the true feeling of the song.[xxii]

Even the revival of the devadasi performances was thought of in terms of classical form of the dance Bharatnatyam. Although the progressives and the conservatives were divided in their ideas on the issue of devadasi tradition, both the groups were united in their ideas of shame. Sexuality was shameful and ‘impure’ for both groups in their ideas of identity and nation-formation. Thus, when it came to representing the nation, each group had differing yet fundamentally similar ideas of shame – while the conservatives were afflicted by shame of loss, the progressives were shameful of sexuality and sexual relations outside socially validated institutions such as marriage. These debates and social changes during the late nineteenth century gave rise to some other binaries such as the Classical and non-Classical; and the ‘pure’ and the ‘impure’.

Another binary that grew out of the extreme sense of nationalism was the idea of the inner and the outer domain, which has also been discussed both by Amanda Weidman[xxiii] and L’Armand and L’Armand[xxiv]. ‘According to [Partha] Chatterjee, nationalism had an inner and outer domain, and the former was sovereign and not open to any negotiation and compromise. In South India, classical music lay at the

very core of that inner domain.’[xxv] As the focus of classicism shifted from the Tanjore courts to the Madras Music Academy, and as the music was being fortified with the compositions of the Trinity (Tyagaraja, Muthuswamy Dikshitar, Syama Sastri), notions of interiority and exteriority were being equally applied to gender, caste and even language politics in the changing social scenario of India. But Subramanian emphasizes the flipside of modernization and standardization in the reconstruction and fortification of classical music texts in Karnatak tradition – while they could be more widely disseminated to more people, the process came with risks of curbing individual creativity. She makes an almost dispassionate yet lamentable claim – ‘the project of being modern could be both liberating and subjugating.’[xxvi]

Amanda Weidman explores some of the voices that have been formed, re-formed, [mis]interpreted and [mis]represented in this constant push and pull of tradition and modernity. The notion of interiority and exteriority come back again in her discussion of the private and the public sphere that get increasingly complicated with the dichotomous role of classical music. While ‘classical music participated in the production of a new, urban, modern public sphere’[xxvii], it also subverted it, as a private and domestic sphere was also being constructed simultaneously. The problem that she identifies is not how to unearth subaltern, hushed-up voices, but rather how to interpret the already existing voices that have been culturally and socially constructed. Addressing this issue, she problematizes the relationship between voice, subjectivity and agency. She not only restricts herself to discussing issues of the metaphorical voice that stands for the representational voice, but also extends the discussion to the domain of the literal and the physical voice, and how that voice is created in a more musical sense:

A more specifically historical engagement leads us to ask what different kinds of public voices and personae women could assume in South India in the 1920s and 1930s. How do the instances of “coming to voice” that Sinha discusses relate to the coming to voice of upper-caste, middle-class women on the concert stage? How do both of these reflect on constructions of womanhood in colonial and postcolonial South India?[xxviii]

Weidman glides through different styles as she builds up a polyphonic feel to her article – her tone shifts from a socio-historical analysis to an autobiographical, personal, and almost an intimate account of her encounter with gender and womanhood in the realm of music in South India. As she discusses the stereotypes and the tropes of the ‘eccentric artist’, through narration of the voice of her 65-year-old music teacher, we realize her attempt at decentering history. The eccentricity of the artist has almost been superimposed in her account – off-centered and challenging, in a way ‘ec-centric’, where the ‘center’ and the usual binaries – that of shame and respectability, natural and intellectual, devadasis and Brahmins, purity and contamination, classical and non-classical, body and spirit, tradition and modernity, interior and exterior, personal and public, and liberation and subjugation – are thoroughly destabilized.

To complicate the politics of voice, ‘the emergence of M. S. Subbulakshmi [known popularly as M. S.] as a child prodigy reinforced the mystique about the perfect voice and its ability to convey sublime devotion. To this was added the ideal of domesticity, with “classical music as the soundtrack for the modern marriage and the modern home”. M.S. Subbulakshmi’s career, which was as much the manifestation of an exceptional talent as it was the creation of her husband, epitomized the workings of the “middle-class” cultural project of the Academy.’[xxix]

Through gripping narration of relations between M.S. and her husband, Sadasivam; and the 65-year-old music teacher, her martyr syndrome and her reported ‘eccentricity’; Weidmann illustrates larger issues of race, gender, domesticity, notions of the nation, womanhood and chastity against the backdrop of the interplay between exteriority and interiority. ‘Meanwhile, both the musical voice and the middle-class home constituted, and stood for, the inner sphere of the nation, a construct central to middle-class nationalism.’[xxx]

L’Armand and L’Armand analyse similar issues in their article from a statistical and mathematical perspective. They study the phenomenon of ‘secondary urbanization’ in Madras, which they define as ‘an urbanization, in which Great traditions in culture are further transformed in metropolitan urban centers’[xxxi]. Their article is extremely structured and definitive, supported by data collected from different sources (even newspapers, such as the Hindu) and compiled in tabulated forms. The time period they look at is from the 1880s to the 1970s. Interestingly, the issues of the exterior domain and the interior domain, the public and the private come up in their article as well, as they statistically analyse the number of public concerts, the participation of professional women artists vis-à-vis the amateur women artists, and also the ratio between the devadasis and the Brahmin artists, after the spate of nationalistic reforms in South India. Differences in gender and caste are repeatedly highlighted through mathematical figures and ratios in the tables titled ‘Distribution of Musicians by Specialization’; Caste Distribution of Musicians; Distribution of Musicians by Sex, etc. With the rise in the number of training schools for classical music, as a result of the nationalistic urges to fortify and spread Indian culture, even though the number of students (even girls) increased, L’Armand and L’Arman point out that the number of public performances by women performers remained constant and meager. They observe the trend in the 1920s and 1930s:

Girls may also receive private instruction in music, although the system of private instruction is not the same for male and female students. Male music pupils now usually learn in an adaptation of the gurukula system, becoming closely attached to the teacher’s house and going fro daily lessons. Girls who learn privately are taught by music teachers who come to the pupil’s house. This has created a new musical profession, that of music teacher. The teachers are nearly all male.[xxxii]

In this ‘nearly all male’ set up, we can imagine why Weidman’s 65-year-old music teacher could be deemed as ‘eccentric’ and an outsider. The notions of interiority even in the transmission of the culture are reiterated in all these articles – while the media advertised the ideal of womanhood as one who plays the instrument (bought and brought inside the domains of domesticity by the husband) at home, she would also be the one who did not transgress the boundaries of domesticity. And if she had to make her voice audible, she would have to create the voice that the nation (and the patriarch) recognizes. Women such as M.S. would only be heard and accepted as a part of the public domain, only when their chastity and womanhood have been validated by their husbands. The music teachers, who ‘devoted’ their lives to music, instead to husbands, would only appear in academic research papers (such as Weidman’s) as lamentable figures, often of ridicule and shame; exterminated from the domain of visibility and audibility. And while publics and counterpublics debated, conflicted and contrasted each other, struggling in their own confinements in identities of shame (or respectability), the hushed-up voices of the devadasis awaited revisionist historiographic excavations, till they could be heard in the ephemeral voices of memory and delayed recollection: ‘we live constantly in the shadow of history’s incompleteness, in the aftertaste of the sound bite’s rolling echo.’[xxxiii]



[i] Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Touching, Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity (Durham: Duke University Press, 2002), p. 38.

[ii] Jurgen Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into the Category of Bourgeois Society, trans. Thomas Burger and Frederic Lawrence (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1989).

[iii] Vivek Bhandari, ‘Civil Society and the Predicament of Multiple Publics’, Comparitive Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Vol. 26, No. 1, 2006, p. 37.

[iv] Arjun Appadurai and Carol Breckenridge, ‘Why Public Culture?’,

[v] Nancy Fraser, ‘Rethinking the Public Sphere: A Contribution to the Critique of Actually Existing Democracy’, Social Text, No. 25/26, 1990, p. 66.

[vi] Ranajit Guha, Dominance Without Hegemony: History and Power in Colonial India (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997), p. xii.

[vii] Nancy Fraser, ‘Rethinking the Public Sphere’, p. 68.

[viii] S. Anandhi, ‘Representing Devadasis: “Dasigal Mosavalai” as a Radical Text’, Ideals, Images and Real Lives: Women in Literature and History, eds. Alice Thorner and Maithreyi Krishnaraj (Hyderabad: Orient Longman, 2000), p. 234.

[ix] Ibid, p. 235.

[x] Abbe Dubois, Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies, trans. and ed. Henry K. Beauchamps (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1897), pp. 604–05.

[xi] Tavia Nyongo, ‘In Night’s Eye: Amalgamation, Respectability, and Shame’, The Amalgamation Waltz: Race, Performance, and the Ruses of Memory (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009), p. 83.

[xii] Lakshmi Subramanian, ‘Embracing the Canonical: Identity, Tradition, and Modernity in Karnatak Music’, eds. Indira Viswanathan Peterson and Davesh Soneji, Performing Pasts: Reinventing the Arts in Modern South India (New Delhi, New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), p. 44.

[xiii] Claire Pajaczkowska and Ivan Ward (eds.), ‘Introduction: Shame, Sexuality and Visual Culture’, Shame and Sexuality: Psychoanalysis and Visual Culture (London and New York: Routledge, 2008), p. 9.

[xiv] Phil Mollon, ‘The inherent shame of sexuality’, Shame and Sexuality: Psychoanalysis and Visual Culture (London and New York: Routledge, 2008), pp. 23–24.

[xv] S. Anandhi, ‘Representing Devadasis’, p. 236.

[xvi] Vivek Bhandari, ‘Civil Society and the Predicament of Multiple Publics’, p. 41.

[xvii] S. Anandhi, ‘Representing Devadasis’, p. 238.

[xviii] Ibid, p. 239.

[xix] Ibid.

[xx] Ibid.

[xxi] Ibid, p. 237.

[xxii] Lakshmi Subramanian, ‘On the Margins of the Classical: Law, Social Reform, and the Devadasis in the Madras Presidency’, From the Tanjore Courts to the Madras Music Academy: A Social History of Music in South India (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 135.

[xxiii] Amanda Weidman, ‘Gender and the Politics of Voice: Colonial Modernity and Classical Music in South India’, Cultural Anthropology, Vol. 18, No. 2, May, 2003.

[xxiv] Kathleen L’Armand and Adrian L’Armand, One Hundred Years of Music in Madras: A Case Study in Secondary Urbanization, Ethnomusicology, Vol. 27, No. 3, Sep., 1983.

[xxv] Lakshmi Subramanian, ‘Embracing the Canonical’, p. 60.

[xxvi] Ibid, p. 61.

[xxvii] Amanda Weidman, ‘Gender and the Politics of Voice: Colonial Modernity and Classical Music in South India’, Cultural Anthropology, Vol. 18, No. 2, May, 2003, p. 195.

[xxviii] Ibid, p. 196.

[xxix] Lakshmi Subramanian, ‘On the Margins of the Classical’, p. 136.

[xxx] Amanda Weidman, ‘Gender and the Politics of Voice’, p. 222.

[xxxi] Kathleen L’Armand and Adrian L’Armand, One Hundred Years of Music in Madras: A Case Study in Secondary Urbanization, Ethnomusicology, Vol. 27, No. 3, Sep., 1983, p. 411.

[xxxii] Ibid, p. 432.

[xxxiii] Michael Taussig, ‘In Some Way or Another One Can Protect Oneself from the Spirits by Portraying Them’, Mimesis and Alterity: A Particular History of the Senses (New York: Routledge, 1993), p. 27.