Document 1: 1815 print showing Hindu religious custom of sati

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Document 1: 1815 print showing Hindu religious custom of sati

British officer: “This Custom tho' shocking to humanity we still allow in consequence of the revenue it brings in, which is of importance. I have also private reasons for not suppressing the burning system immediately.” British bishop: “Why my Lord, with a view to [O]economy under existing circumstances it might be imprudent to press the measure at present. Besides I think I feel also the private motives which actuates your Lordship.”

Document 1 Information

• What is sati? – Hindu practice of a widow throwing herself on her husband’s funeral pyre • What was the purpose of this print?

– to support a Christian missionary campaign to get sati abolished – missionaries believed women were forced to commit sati by relatives who wanted to inherit the man’s property – mission accomplished: British made sati illegal in 1829 • Considerations: – possible exaggeration … lots of opposition to attempts to spread Christianity in India – sati already in decline before 1829 abolition b/c many Hindus did not agree with it – rare ex. of British rule interfering with local religious beliefs … more respect after Sepoy Rebellion

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