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Report No. 81

Pandits.- The 991 persons calling themselves "professors of the Hindu law, inhabitants of Nuddea Trebani Bhatparrah, Bansbarrah and other places", "being apprised that one Eshwarchandra Vidyasagar, a modern Pandit, has lately in conjunction with a few young men of the rising class, had sought legislation to legalise re-marriage of Hindu widows", petitioned on 29th February, 1856 to the Legislative Council, drawing attention of the Council to the injunctions of the shastras against such marriages. They quoted the Veda, the Code of Manu, Mahabharata first book, Aditya Purana, Ratnakura, Niranya Shindhoo, Hemadri and Madan Parijata. The last three authorities contained similar edicts:

"the marriage of widow, the gift of a larger portion to the eldest brother, the sacrifice of a bull, the appointment of a man to beget a son on the widow of his brother and the carrying of an earthen pot as the token of ascetic, these five are prohibited in the Kaliyuga". The piece de resistance came as a petition on a coriaceous parchment paper of the size 3"x 2½"-signed by Raja Radhakant Bahadoor, Raja Kalikrishna Bahadoor, Raja Apurva Krishna Bahadoor, Raja Kamal Krishna Bahadoor, Raja Narendra Krishna Bahadoor and others opposing the Bill.



Hindu Widows Re-marriage Act, 1856 Back




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