Sacred Sins

Arun Ezhuthachan

Meera Gopinath


In 2008, journalist Arun Ezhuthachan decided to investigate whether the banned dance bars of Mangaluru would continue illegally. What he stumbled upon, however, was an intricate web of old beliefs and new-age oppression – the modern devadasi. Young girls were dedicated to temples, only to end up as mistresses of upper-caste men and abandoned once they were older. Speaking to locals, NGOs and the devadasis themselves, Arun began to follow the whispered clues to these forsaken women in all corners of India.

In rural Karnataka, he meets devadasis clinging to their faith despite intense exploitation; in Kolkata, daughters sold into sex work by their families find no way out; in Vrindavan, ostracized widows congregate to serve God, only to encounter devious predators; and in Puri, the last surviving devadasi reminisces about her time serving Lord Jagannath.

Revealing how the oppression of women continues to be veiled by religion, this explosive journalistic account brings to light an India ridden with casteism, patriarchy and abject poverty. The heart-wrenching stories and shocking revelations of Sacred Sins will leave you dismayed, appalled and blazing for change.

  • Classification : Politics & Current Affairs
  • Pub Date : SEP 15, 2023
  • Imprint : Hachette India
  • Page Extent : 256
  • Binding : HB
  • ISBN : 9789357312592
  • Price : INR 799

Arun Ezhuthachan

Arun Ezhuthachan is currently Trissur Chief Reporter at Malayala Manorama. His debut book, Visudhapapangalude India (Sacred Sins), received the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for the best travelogue in 2019. He has also received the media fellowship of National Foundation for India for his study on the social condition of devadasis.


Meera Gopinath

Meera Gopinath teaches language and literature at an educational institute. She has worked with language in various roles – including anchoring, travel journalism, technical writing, content writing and teaching. Translation, with its inherent challenges, is something she enjoys, and she has translated books, stories and scripts. Meera lives in Bengaluru with her husband and children.

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