Well, I'll go to the foot of my stairs...

Often startled, frequently amused, sometimes scared; rarely speechless. Can be found at witchywoo22@yahoo.co.uk

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Heads up to Uma...

...at Indianwriting for this:

Sati - the act of throwing oneself upon one's husband's funeral pyre - has now been acknowledged as an act commited under duress.
Let's accept it, sati is never voluntary. There is always an element of coercion — physical, psychological or social. More often than not, it is engineered by the widow's family to grab her deceased husband's property.
And, up to now, if a widow doesn't kill herself she's subjected to a life of hassles, humilliation and no way out.

So now, the proposed law states that both passive observers and actual abettors are culpable for acts of attempted sati and the punishment for that is either death or life imprisonment. The law places the onus for prevention of sati on the family and the village - the main protagonists.

The law will state that family and community are responsible for the continuing lives of widowed women.

It's kind of saying that women's lives matter more than property and I think that's pretty radical.

3 Comments:

  • At 8:01 PM, Blogger asdgasdfaserwe said…

    Yes, that is quite radical. I didn't realise it'd been outlawed some 175 years ago. This new law seems to acknowlege that the people standing around that pyre are the ones forcing her to kill herself, and it gives lie to the notion of 'free will'.

     
  • At 11:00 AM, Anonymous Laurelin said…

    I'm so glad to hear of a law that insists on the culpability of the bystanders! The argument that sati is a choice has always enraged me- it's not a choice if you believe your life is going to suck unless you kill yourself. It's murder.

     
  • At 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It's really a return to the traditional method of dealing with sati.

    "You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."

    Still, I think killing bystanders is a bit much. Burning widows isn't very civilised, but neither's executing someone for being in a place where a crime's committed.

     

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