The prohibition of the practice in the year 1829 was considered to be an important step towards the emancipation of the Indian women. It is argued by Lata Mani that the women who were central to this practice had no role in the debate and the controversy was more about the meaning of Hindu tradition, the place of worship and the role assumed by the colonial state. She questions the motives of the British in the abolition of the practice. In her writings, she has shown how the colonial bureaucrats were divided in the intervention in the practice on the ground of the political implications of the issue. The role of the British in the mediation in a local matter cannot be considered as one based on humanitarian grounds. The author questions the objectives of the mediation as the practice of sati was initially condemned by the British but was later covertly approved by them and as a final stand they banned the practice officially. This transformation of stand only proves the views of the author that the acts of the British were not one based on humanity but were influenced by vested interests. When they understood that the open denouncement can cost them politically they approved it but later on in a bid to establish their political supremacy in a foreign country they banned the practice.
Lata has also highlighted the scriptural interpretation related to widowhood. She explains how Rammohun Roy, a nineteenth-century noted Bengali reformer, interpreted the scriptures. The scriptures refer to the prescriptive tests that describe the rules of social living. Lata viewed these interpretations as an understanding mode that developed side by side along the colonial rule. Rammohun Roy highlighted that as per the brahmanic scriptures the sati can only be voluntary without any coercion. In her work she has also tried to draw attention to the role of Walter ...
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