Centuries ago when the British were ruling India, an unimaginable gruesome practice was taking on the Hindu society by storm. The malpractice of sati was all about women sacrificing their lives being burnt alive along with their deceased husbands on the same funeral pyre. The exact time of origin of this dreadful practice was not identified but it was prevalent in the Indian Society since the pre historic periods. Raja Ram Mohan Roy was the distinctive thinker with ultimate decisive prowess who found the long-standing cruelty against innocent widows should be stopped right away. He was the one who raised strong voice against this malpractice of the superstitious Hindu society and pledged to the British Government to abolish that practice with immediate effect.
During the ancient ages , life of a woman was considered to remain dedicated for her husband only and that was not only limited to her complete surrender and devotion and sanctity , but it was also believed that a woman had no right to live a life of her own when her husband deceased. Young girls, mostly in their childhood used to get married to men who were three to four times older than them. They used to live a miserable life after marriages and most pathecitc thing was they were forced to sacrifice their lives along with their husbands on the same funeral pyre when they were alive. This was perhaps the most miserable cruelty that a human society could ever experience and it was to be prohibited from the root but due to some unknown superstitious beliefs this wrong practice of sati was not getting eradicated.
It is said that the evil practice of Sati was existing in the Indian society since 4th century BC and It was prevalent among the Royal women between 5th to 9th century BC. Jauhar was among one of the most prevalent practices in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Between the year 1815 and 1818 the number of Sati practices increased in an alarming rate in Bengal. It reached at the ultimate point of cruelty that little girls who turned widows were forcefully burnt alive along with their dear husbands. William Carry, the Christian Missionary raised his voice against this cruelty.
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Raja Ram Mohan Roy started his forceful campaign against Sati and He argued that the Vedas and other ancient Hindu scriptures did not sanction Sati. He wrote articles in his journal Sambad Kaumudi asking its prohibition. He appealed the East India Company administration to ban this practice and he ultimately pleaded to then Governor General of India Lord William Bentinck to abolish the brutal practice with immediate effect.
Lord Bentinck helped Ram Mohan Roy to not oly suppress Sati but also polygamy, child marriages and female infanticide. He passed the law Lord Bentinck passed the law banning Sati throughout the British India. The Bengal Sati Regulation that banned the Sati practice in all jurisdictions of the country, was passed on December 4, 1829 by Governor-General Lord William Bentinck. The regulation described the practice of Sati as revolting to the feelings of human nature. After the implementation of the act the evil practice of Sati finally came to an end.
The nation salutes the pioneer of modern India who was born on 22nd May, 1772, in Radhabazar, Kolkata and made the country proud with his decisive mission and vision and fought a hardest ever battle that was almost impossible to win. With his endeavor he could show the path to us to build a nation that would be revered all over world in the years to come.