Shanars were basically subordinate class.they were later known as nadars.they were part of the rigid heirarchy of the caste system and was exploited by the upper dominant class for instance the nairs who were the upper dominant class , who exercised considerable amounts of control in the society.india had no formal sumptuary laws but had a very strict social code of food and dress.it was the caste system which defined what each caste should give , take , eat and wear.these codes were very rigid and any change in these specified codes resulted in violent retaliations.
one can give example of shanar community who belonged to the subordinate caste and had to follow certain code of conduct..they were not able to wear slippers , use umbrellas or cover their upper body with clothes.
under the influence of christian missionaries , shanar women began to wear tailored blouses and began to cover upper bodies .but in 1882,they were attacked by nair community
complaints were also filed against the change in the dress codes by shanars.shanar women also refused to offer free labour to the upper caste.they also defied government orders and started to cover their upper bodies.
shanar women were attacked and stripped off their upper clothes. they were beaten and tortured as they refused to adhere to caste norms that also demanded them to dress differently.
finally , government in 1859 issued a proclamation that shanar women could cover their upper body but not like upper caste ladies.
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