History

The Bedia Community: The Sex Workers’ Caste

Back in the day, when a woman conceives, the family expects the child to be a boy. But in this day and age, in Madhya Pradesh it’s the reverse, the Bedia community every time a women bears a child, expects the child to be a girl.
Now that’s something unusual right? If you wonder why girls and not boys, it’s because the men of this community depend on the women for their living.

The word Bedia in Hindi is Corrupt. The Bedia community was a nomadic community. But why they were termed as corrupt? It is said that the community was involved in bad works like petty theft. Per this issue, I believe the people who belonged to this community to survive the living gave rise to sex work.

In the book, ‘Laminated Marksheet’ by Harsh Mander – the story revolves around the difficulties faced by this community. Here is something you should know about this community
• The men depend on women for their living.
• The men cannot marry the women of this community and they are denied by other communities.
• As soon as the girl hits puberty, the community considers her as ‘ready’ which means she is eligible as a sex worker.

According to 2011 Census of India, the Bedia or Beriya were categorised under the Schedule Caste. Deserting a community has led prostitution as a tradition. Girls of this community volunteer or they are forced into this job.
Here we can see the Cultural Hegemony Of Casteism – In Marxist philosophy, cultural hegemony is the domination of a culturally diverse society by the ruling class which manipulates the culture of that society — the beliefs and explanations, perceptions, values, and more — so that the imposed, ruling-class worldview becomes the accepted cultural norm.
We should stop judging or qualify a person based on his caste. In our country, even though there are many acts, rules and regulations are imposed to support the minority communities, the irony is the upper castes still prey on the lower castes (Hathras Rape Case).

PS: History has many unfolded sections that we don’t read due to the elimination of sections that make put a blindfold to our eyes. Comment below if you have ever come across any community like this.

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