In the early 1800s, women of some low castes in India had to pay a tax called mulakkaram ("breast tax") if they wanted to cover their chests when they went outside of their homes. This type of modesty was considered a privilege of upper caste ladies.
The tax rate was high, and varied according to the size and attractiveness of the breasts in question.
In 1840, a woman in the town of Cherthala, Kerala refused to pay the tax. In protest, she cut off her breasts and presented them to the tax collectors.
She died of blood loss later that night, but the tax was repealed the next day.
Sources: Sadasivan, S.N. A Social History of India, Mumbai: APH Publishing, 2000.