In 1868, Queen Gowri Lakshmi Bayi began vaccination campaigns, first vaccinating herself and the royal family to prove to orthodox opponents that the animal vaccine was neither sinful nor deadly.
Preserving a Woman's Sanctity
A great part of the strength of the system evolved because royalty practiced and condoned it. The royal family of Travancore has, in fact, had eight girl adoptions since 1,300ce for the sole reason of keeping the lineage going on the woman's side. The Travancore queens were very famous for spearheading major social and intellectual freedoms for women. In 1811, the daughter of a musician, Swathi Thirunal, was adopted and became queen at age 20. Overnight, she made sweeping changes, abolished all forms of slavery, banned the existing heartless overtaxation of the poor and totally overhauled the justice system to protect those too poor to "buy" justice. In 1817, by royal proclamation, she made education open to all classes. The rest of India looked on in amazement. In 1868, Queen Gowri Lakshmi Bayi began vaccination campaigns, first vaccinating herself and the royal family to prove to orthodox opponents that the animal vaccine was neither sinful nor deadly. In 1925, Queen Regent Setu Lakshmi abolished animal sacrifice at Hindu rites and outlawed the local Devadasi temple dancer custom that had degenerated into little more than temple-sanctioned prostitution.
These Queens deserved and earned all their accolades. They were true nobility.Our women of yesteryears were highly knowledgeable, well-versed in Sanskrit and could correspond intellectually with scholars.The women of matriarchal Kerala were voracious readers, adept at music and arts and never wasted their time. Even those that stayed home had the zeal to acquire knowledge.
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Last Updated: December 11, 1998