The Hindu Widows’ Remarriage Act, 1856, also Act XV, 1856, enacted on 25 July 1856, legalized the remarriage of Hindu widows in all jurisdictions of India under East India Company rule and The first Widows Remarriage was took place on 7th December 1856 in Calcutta.
In order to protect both what it considered family honour and family
property, upper-caste Hindu society had long disallowed the remarriage
of widows, even child and adolescent ones, all of whom were expected to
live a life of austerity and abnegation. The Hindu Widows’ Remarriage
Act of 1856, enacted in response to the campaign of Pandit Ishwar
Chandra Vidyasagar, provided legal safeguards against loss of certain
forms of inheritance for a remarrying Hindu widow, though, under the
Act, the widow forsook any inheritance due her from her deceased
husband. Especially targeted in the act were Hindu child widows whose
husbands had died before consummation of marriage.
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