Gadhegals are a unique type of grant or law edicts, with a curse inscribed in stone following the grant/law, that were issued from the 10th & 11th centuries CE onwards in Maharashtra. The curse is directed at the miscreants who may break the law or create issues for the beneficiary of the grant. It serves as a warning against breaking, evading, violating and or not following what is explicitly mentioned in the grant/law stated. The curse is almost always inscribed in Marathi and states “maaye gadhave zhavije” which translates into “your (the miscreants’) mother will be made to copulate with a donkey.” The curse is accompanied by a graphic depiction of this reverse bestiality. At our Online Talk #CursesInStone, research scholar Harshada Wirkud takes us through the history of these ass-curse stones in Maharashtra, how they originated during the Shilahara period, their importance in later times and how they survive today.
About the speaker
Harshada Wirkud is an MA in Numismatics & Archaeology, and is currently pursuing a PhD on ‘Gadhegals from Maharashtra and Goa’ from Deccan College PGRI, Pune, a subject she has been working on for the past ten years. She was a Research Associate on the study ‘Documentation of Gadhegals in Maharashtra’ under the aegis of Centre of Archaeology and Centre of Extra-Mural Studies (CEMS), University of Mumbai, in 2016, and a Senior Team Member for the Salcette Exploration Project by the Centre of Extra-Mural Studies, Centre for Archaeology and INSTUCEN Trust, in 2017. She has presented her research at various national and international seminars and has published several research papers and articles.