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Abolition of Sati | Bengal Sati Regulation 1829

Sati Abolition- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 1: Indian History- Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

Abolition of Sati | Bengal Sati Regulation 1829_40.1

 

Abolition of Sati- Context

  • In 1829, the Governor-General of India Lord William Bentinck passed Bengal Sati Regulation 1829 which made the practice of Sati illegal in all of British India.
  • Earlier, the Practice of Sati was banned by the Portuguese in Goa by 1515 and then by Dutch in Chinsura and French in Pondicherry.

Abolition of Sati | Bengal Sati Regulation 1829_50.1

 

What is Sati Practice?

  • Sati was an inhumane practice against widowed women which traces its origin from late ancient and medieval era India.
  • Sati had become prevalent in some parts of India, even though it lacked any support from ancient Vedic tradition.
  • Sati was mainly practiced in upper Hindu Families which involved the immolation of a Hindu woman on the death of her husband in his funeral pyre.
  • According to an estimate, in the year 1817 alone, about 700 widows were burnt alive.

Third Anglo-Maratha War

 

Raja Ram Mohan Roy’s Efforts in Banning Sati Pratha

  • Soul of Raja Ram Mohan Roy was tormented by the Sati Practice when his own sister-in-law was forced to commit Sati.
  • Social reformer Raja Ram Mohan Roy along with his supporters started fierce opposition against Sati Practice in 1812.
  • Raja Ram Mohan Roy took it on himself and used to visit cremation grounds and persuade women not to commit Sati.
  • In his Sambad Kaumudi, He even showed that the Practice of Sati does not find mention in the Vedic literature.

 

Banning of Sati Practice

  • Due to the sustained efforts of Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Sati practice was formally banned in all the lands under Bengal Presidency by Lord William Bentinck on 4 December 1829.
  • People who abetted the Practice of Sati were to be held guilty of committing ‘culpable Homicide’ offenses under the Bengal Sati Regulation Act 1829.
  • Bengal Sati Regulation 1929, banning Sati, was applicable only to the Company’s jurisdiction in British India.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy- Indian Social Reformer

Raja Ram Mohan Roy- Indian Social Reformer

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