Abolition of Sati by Lord William Bentinck

Practice of Sati was followed in India among several communities (generally higher classes among Hindus) since late ancient and medieval era. It was first banned in 1515 by Portuguese in Goa, and then was by Dutch in Chinsura and French in Pondicherry. However, this practice was not much prevalent in these areas. During British era, the Practice of Sati was most common in Bengal and Rajputana. The British permitted it initially; but formally banned the practice in 1798 only in Calcutta. However, it continued in the surrounding areas.

By the dawn of 19th century, the British had started collecting facts and figures on practice of Sati. The data showed that only in 1817, 700 widows had been burnt alive in Bengal alone.

Efforts of Raja Rammohan Roy

From 1812 onwards, reformers such as Raja Rammohan Roy started fierce campaign against the Sati practice. Raja Rammohan Roy was personally hurt by this practice as his own sister-in-law was forced to commit Sati. He 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.

Ban on Sati Practice by William Bentinck

Due to fierce campaign and lobbying of Raja Rammohan Roy and others,Sati practice was formally banned in all the lands under Bengal Presidency by Lord William Bentinck on 4 December 1829. 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. Later, Jaipur banned the practice in 1846.

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  • akanksha sharma

    i still don’t get the answer of my question.did LORD WILLIAM BENTINCK abolished sati first in india

  • vibhuti tiwari

    i too did not get my answer.

  • Shrikant

    Lord william bentinc abolished sati first in bengal and afterwards law was extended to other parts directly under british but not in princely states

  • Shrikant

    Two more references about abolition of sati was first by portugese in Goa and second by guru govind singh while formation of Khalsa

  • sona sivajothi.

    even I dont think only william bentrick 1st abolished sati.it is raja ram mohan roy.


    its more likely to be correct

  • Aniyan Samuel

    I wonder why did you forget to mention the name of William Carry the one who did all efforts to stop this evil practice

  • ishfaq khursheed ik


  • sonalika

    i toooooo stil not get my answer correctly…..