Abolition of Sati by Lord William Bentinck
Abolition of Sati : 1829
The Practice of Sati was first banned in Goa in 1515 by the Portuguese, but it was not that much prevalent there.
This evil practice was banned by the Dutch and French also in Chinsura and Pondicherry respectively.
The British permitted it initially but the practice of Sati was first formally banned in city of Calcutta in 1798, but it continued in the surrounding areas.
The Bengal Presidency started collecting facts and figures on the practice of Sati in 1813. The data showed that in 1817 only, 700 widows were burnt alive in Bengal alone.
From 1812 onwards, it was Raja Rammohan Roy, who started his own campaign against the Sati practice.
His own sister-in-law had been forced to commit Sati.
Raja Rammohan Roy used to visit the Calcutta cremation grounds to persuade widows not to so die. He also formed the watch groups. In Sambad Kaumudi he wrote articles and showed that it was not written in any Veda or epics to commit this crime.
It was on 4 December 1829, when the practice was formally banned in all the lands under Bengal Presidency by Lord William Bentinck.
By this regulation, the people who abetted sati were declared guilty of “culpable homicide.”
The ban was challenged in the courts. The matter went to the Privy Council in London. The Privy Council upheld the ban in 1832. After that other territories also started following banning, but it remained legal in princely states, particularly in the Rajputana where it was very common.
Under the British control, Jaipur banned the practice in 1846.