December 5, 1829 , Calcutta, PTI. Yesterday after the debate of 11 years , The sati regulation Act which declared the practice of sati, or suttee, or of burning or burying alive the widows of Hindus, illegal and punishable by the criminal courts by Lord William Bentinck., governor general of all of British-ruled India. In 1817, Mritunjaya Vidyalamkara, chief pundit of the Supreme Court in Calcutta announced that sati had no sanction in the ancient texts and, in 1818, Lord William Bentinck, the governor of Bengal, banned the practice.
The Prevention of Sati Act makes it illegal to abet, glorify or attempt to commit Sati. Abetment of Sati, including coercing or forcing someone to commit Sati can be punished by death sentence or life imprisonment, while glorifying Sati is punishable with 1–7 years in prison.
Within the Indian culture, the highest ideal for a woman are virtue, purity, and allegiance to her husband. This custom in which a woman burns herself either on the funeral pyre of her deceased husband or by herself with a memento after his death is now referred to as sati or, in England, as suttee. In the original meaning, "Sati" was defined as a woman who was "true to her ideals". A pious and virtuous woman would receive the title of "Sati."
In past few years things are changing in India especially in two provinces -- Bengal and the Bombay Presidency.The changes that began from this period were to have a huge impact on past few decades.
In 1815, a pamphlet written in Bengali caused quite a stir in Calcutta. It was on the evil custom of sati and was written by Ram Mohan Roy had been speaking up for reforms in society, the need to improve the condition of women especially, and, equally important, to ensure that women received an education. Mr. Roy petitioned the government, published pamphlets, and travelled to England to appeal before the British Parliament to ensure the ban on sati. The more conservative groups in society were... [continues]
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