On 04th December 1829-The Bengal Sati Regulation, or Regulation XVII, A. D. 1829 of the Bengal Code was a legal act promulgated in British India under East India Company rule, by the then Governor-General Lord William Bentinck, which made the practice of sati or suttee—or the immolation of a Hindu widow on the funeral pyre of her deceased husband—illegal in all jurisdictions of British India and subject to prosecution.
Sati (Devanagari: सती, the feminine of sat “true”; also spelled suttee) refers to a funeral ritual within some Asian communities in which a recently widowed woman immolates herself, typically on the husband’s funeral pyre.
Mention of the practice can be dated back to 4th century BCE. While evidence of practice only appears from the 5th – 9th centuries CE. Practice is considered to have been originated within the warrior aristocracy on the Indian subcontinent, gradually gaining in popularity from the 10th century CE to other groups and becoming generally sanctioned/ recommended by the doctrines around the 12th century CE. With the military expansions outside of Indian subcontinent, the practice has been attested to have been practiced in a number of localities in Southeast Asia, such as at Indonesia.
The practice was outlawed by the British Raj in 1829 within their own territories in India (the collected statistics from their own regions suggesting an estimated of 500–600 instances of sati per year), followed up by laws in the same directions by the authorities in the princely states of India in the ensuing decades, with a general ban for the whole of India issued by Queen Victoria in 1861. In Nepal, sati was not banned until 1920. The Indian Sati Prevention Act from 1987 further criminalizing any type of aiding, abetting, and even the glorifying of sati practice.
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