Sati (practice)

satisutteesati-dahacremated with her husbandimmolatedjumped into herself-immolationwidow burningbeing forced into a funeral pyre with her late husbandburn herself on the pyre
Sati or suttee is a largely historical practice found chiefly among Hindus in the northern and pre-modern regions of South Asia, in which a widow sacrifices herself by sitting atop her deceased husband's funeral pyre.wikipedia
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Lord William Bentinck

William BentinckLord BentinckLord William Cavendish-Bentinck
Opposition to the practice of sati by Christian evangelists, such as Carey, and Hindu reformers such as Ram Mohan Roy, ultimately led the Governor-General of India Lord William Bentinck to enact the Bengal Sati Regulation, 1829, declaring the practise of burning or burying alive of Hindu widows to be punishable by the criminal courts.
He has been credited for significant social and educational reforms in India including abolishing Sati, the suppression of female infanticide and human sacrifices, and ending lawlessness by eliminating Thuggee – which had existed for over 450 years – with the aid of his chief captain, William Henry Sleeman.

William Carey (missionary)

William CareyCareyRev. William Carey
In the early 19th century, the British East India Company, in the process of extending its rule to most of India, initially tolerated the practice; William Carey, a Christian evangelist, noted 438 incidences within a 30-mile (48-km) radius of the capital Calcutta, in 1803, despite its ban within Calcutta. Leaders of these campaigns included William Carey and William Wilberforce.
He opened the first theological university in Serampore offering divinity degrees, and campaigned to end the practice of sati.

Ram Mohan Roy

Raja Ram Mohan RoyRaja Rammohan RoyRaja Rammohun Roy
Opposition to the practice of sati by Christian evangelists, such as Carey, and Hindu reformers such as Ram Mohan Roy, ultimately led the Governor-General of India Lord William Bentinck to enact the Bengal Sati Regulation, 1829, declaring the practise of burning or burying alive of Hindu widows to be punishable by the criminal courts.
He was known for his efforts to abolish the practices of sati and child marriage.

Hindu Widows' Remarriage Act, 1856

Widow Remarriage ActHindu Widow Remarriage Act of 1856Hindu Widow Remarriage Act, 1856
These were followed up with other legislation, countering what the British perceived to be interrelated issues involving violence against Hindu women, including: Hindu Widows' Remarriage Act, 1856, Female Infanticide Prevention Act, 1870, and Age of Consent Act, 1891.
It was the first major social reform legislation after the abolition of Sati by Lord William Bentinck.

Jauhar

burnt themselves to deathSakaSati
During the period of Muslim-Hindu conflict, Rajputs performed a distinct form of sati known as jauhar as a direct response to the onslaught they experienced.
Jauhar is related to sati, and sometimes referred in scholarly literature as jauhar sati.

Company rule in India

IndiaBritish IndiaCompany Rule
In the early 19th century, the British East India Company, in the process of extending its rule to most of India, initially tolerated the practice; William Carey, a Christian evangelist, noted 438 incidences within a 30-mile (48-km) radius of the capital Calcutta, in 1803, despite its ban within Calcutta.
The Raj set out to outlaw sati (widow-burning) and thuggee (ritual banditry) and upgrade the status of women.

Pyre

funeral pyrecremation pyrefuneral pyres
Sati or suttee is a largely historical practice found chiefly among Hindus in the northern and pre-modern regions of South Asia, in which a widow sacrifices herself by sitting atop her deceased husband's funeral pyre.
In the early 19th century, some Hindu groups practiced Sati (also known as suttee).

Bengal Sati Regulation, 1829

Opposition to the practice of sati by Christian evangelists, such as Carey, and Hindu reformers such as Ram Mohan Roy, ultimately led the Governor-General of India Lord William Bentinck to enact the Bengal Sati Regulation, 1829, declaring the practise of burning or burying alive of Hindu widows to be punishable by the criminal courts.
The Bengal Sati Regulation, or Regulation XVII, in India under East India Company rule, by the Governor-General Lord William Bentinck, which made the practice of sati or suttee illegal in all jurisdictions of India and subject to prosecution.

Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987

Sati Prevention ActCommission (Prevention) of Sati Act 1987Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act
Isolated incidents of sati were recorded in India in the late 20th century, leading the Indian government to promulgate the Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987, criminalising the aiding or glorifying of sati.
The Act seeks to prevent Sati practice or the voluntary or forced burning or burying alive of widows, and to prohibit glorification of this action through the observance of any ceremony, the participation in any procession, the creation of a financial trust, the construction of a temple, or any actions to commemorate or honor the memory of a widow who committed sati.

Vishnu Smriti

ViṣṇusmṛtiVishnuVishnu Smrti
The author of the text may have mentioned practices existing in his own community, as Vishnu Smriti is believed to have been written in Kashmir.
It is also known for its handling of the controversial subject of the practice of sati (the burning of a widow on her husband’s funeral pyre).

Prabhakaravardhana

PrabhakarvardhanaPrabhakara-vardhanaPrabhakar Vardhana
It however happens while Prabhakaravardhana's death is expected, Arvind Sharma suggests it is another form of sati.
He was married to Yasomati, who threw herself on to the funeral pyre of her husband in an act of sati.

Rajput

RajputsRajputs of GujaratHindu Rajput
During the period of Muslim-Hindu conflict, Rajputs performed a distinct form of sati known as jauhar as a direct response to the onslaught they experienced. The extent to which sati was practised in history is not known with clarity, however, during the early modern Mughal period, it was notably associated with elite Hindu Rajput clans in western India, marking one of the points of divergence between Rajput culture and Islamic Mughal culture, which allowed widow remarriage.
The Rajput practices of female infanticide and sati (widow immolation) were other matters of concern to the British.

Hyderabad State

HyderabadHyderabad DeccanState of Hyderabad
Jaipur banned the practice in 1846, while Hyderabad, Gwalior and Jammu and Kashmir did the same in 1847.
He also abolished Sati where women used to jump into their husband's burning pyre, by issuing a royal firman.

John Malcolm

Sir John MalcolmMalcolmMalcolm, Sir John
Sir John Malcolm, the Governor of Bombay supported Sahajanand Swami in this endeavor.
In seeking to end both sati (the self-immolation of widows on their husband's funeral pyres) and female infanticide by moral persuasion, Malcolm visited Gujarat in February 1830 and met Sahajanand Swami, the founder of the Swaminarayan sect of Hinduism, who was advocating similar reforms.

Rajendra Chola I

Rajendra CholaRajendra IChola empire
Vanavan Mahadevi, the mother of Rajaraja Chola I (10th century) and Viramahadevi the queen of Rajendra Chola I (11th century) both committed Sati upon their husband's death by ascending the pyre.
Rajendra Chola had many consorts including Tribuvana or Vanavan Mahadeviar, Mukkokilan,Arindhavan Madevi and Viramadevi, last of whom committed sati upon Rajendra Chola’s death.

Portuguese conquest of Goa

Goaconquest of Goacapture of Goa
The Portuguese banned the practice in Goa after the conquest of Goa, however the practice continued in the region.
Exception was made to the practice of sati however, which was promptly abolished.

Charles James Napier

Charles NapierSir Charles NapierSir Charles James Napier
Charles Napier clarified in 1843 that anyone involved in this custom would be executed and their property confiscated.
Napier opposed suttee, or sati.

Akbar

Akbar the GreatEmperor AkbarJalaluddin Muhammed Akbar
According to Annemarie Schimmel, the Mughal Emperor Akbar was averse to the practice of Sati; however, he expressed his admiration for "widows who wished to be cremated with their deceased husbands".
He also introduced several far-sighted social reforms, including prohibiting sati, legalising widow remarriage and raising the age of marriage.

William Wilberforce

WilberforceWilliam(William) Wilberforce
Leaders of these campaigns included William Carey and William Wilberforce.
Speaking in favour of the Charter Act 1813, he criticised the British in India for their hypocrisy and racial prejudice, while also condemning aspects of Hinduism including the caste system, infanticide, polygamy and suttee.

Kingdom of Mysore

MysoreMysore KingdomSultanate of Mysore
According to a speaker at the East India House in 1842, the princely states of Satara, Kingdom of Nagpur and Mysore had by then banned sati.
Social reforms aimed at removing practices such as sati and social discrimination based upon untouchability, as well as demands for the emancipation of the lower classes, swept across India and influenced Mysore territory.

Around the World in Eighty Days

Around the World in 80 DaysnovelLe Tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours
In Jules Verne's novel Around the World in Eighty Days, Phileas Fogg rescues Princess Aouda from forced sati.
They come across a procession in which a young Indian woman, Aouda, is to undergo sati.

Self-immolation

self-immolatedimmolatedset himself on fire
A historical example includes the practice of Sati when the Hindu goddess of the same name (see also Daksayani) legendarily set herself on fire after her father insulted her.

Madurai Nayak dynasty

Madurai NayaksMadurai NayakNayaks of Madurai
The Madurai Nayak dynasty (1529–1736 CE) seems to have adopted the custom in larger measure, one Jesuit priest observing in 1609 Madurai the burning of 400 women at the death of Nayak Muttu Krishnappa.
His young widow Muttammal – the only woman, strange to say, whom he had married – was inconsolable at his loss and, though she was far advanced in pregnancy, insisted upon committing sati on his funeral pyre.

The Ashram

The 2005 novel The Ashram by Indian writer Sattar Memon, deals with the plight of an oppressed young woman in India, under pressure to commit suttee and the endeavours of a western spiritual aspirant to save her.
This practice of suttee, out of use for many years, brings Jonathan to her town in an effort to save her, but when he arrives at the pyre, he realizes there is more to his journey and that—unbeknownst to him—the woman’s safety is intricately tied with his own spiritual salvation.

Aouda

Princess Aoudafictional princess
In Jules Verne's novel Around the World in Eighty Days, Phileas Fogg rescues Princess Aouda from forced sati.
At the death of her husband, she is about to be sacrificed by Hindu monks as a sati at her husband's funeral pyre.