The Women's Question

  • In the history of modern India, socio-religious reform movements occupy a significant place.
  • One of the major social reforms was the complete abolition of Sati even some Muslim rulers like Muhammad Bin Tughluq, Akbar and Jehangir also tried to check the practice of Sati.
  • During 1772, there was a plea to ban the practice of Sati to the government.
  • Mritunjoy Vidyalankar anticipated most of the arguments, later advanced by Raja Rammohan Roy; views were countered by Kasinath Tarkavagish.
  • Sambad Kaumudi, Samachar Darpan, Friend of India supported the anti- Sati campaign.
  • In 1829, Sati was declared illegal and punishable by the Regulation XVII of 1829.   
  • During the 19th century, Raja Rajballabh of Dacca tried to introduce widow remarriage in Hindu society but opposed by Raja Krishna Chandra of Nadia.
  • Pandit Iswarchandra Vidyasagar took up the cause and succeeded in 1856.  
  • He was entirely against early marriage, backed widow remarriage.
  • On July 26, the Act of XV of 1856 was passed legalizing widow remarriage.
  • Widow Remarriage was propagated in Punjab by The Arya Samaj, in Western India by Vishnu Parshuram Pandit and Govind Ranade.
  • In Odisha (Orissa) and Eastern Bengal, child offerings were made to Goddess Ganga by childless couples.
  • Female infants were primarily killed by the Rajputs such as Chauhans, Surajbansis and Bhaduriyas to avoid dowry in marriages. 
  • Problem grasped the attention of the British; the Female Infanticide Act was passed in 1870.
  • In spite of all opposition, British with the help of Behramji Merwanji Malabari passed the Age of Consent Bill in 1891, raised the age of consent from 10 to 12.


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