Sati: Evangelicals, Baptist Missionaries and the Changing Colonial Discourse

By: Meenakshi Jain

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Lord Bentincks Regulation XVII of 1829, which declared sati a criminal offence, marked the culmination of a sustained campaign against Hinduism by British Evangelicals and missionaries anxious to Anglicize and Christianize India. The attack on Hinduism was initiated by the Evangelist, Charles Grant, an employee of the East India Company and subsequently member of the Court of Directors. In 1792, he presented his famous treatise, Observations on the State of Society among the Asiatic Subjects of Great Britain. A harsh evaluation of Hindu society, it challenged the then current Orientalist policy of respecting Indian laws, religion, and customs set in motion by the Governor General, Warren Hastings. Grant argued that the introduction of the language and religion of the conquerors would be an obvious means of assimilating the conquered people to them . He was joined in his endeavours by other Evangelicals, and Baptist missionaries, who began arriving surreptitiously in Bengal from 1793. This is not a work on sati per se. It does not address, in any depth, issues of the possible origins of the rite; its voluntary or mandatory nature; the role, if any, of priests or family members; or any other aspect associated with the actual practice of widow immolation. Its primary focus is the colonial debate on sati, particularly the role of Evangelicals and Baptist missionaries. It argues that sati was an exceptional act,performed by a miniscule number of Hindu widows over the centuries. Its occurrence was, however, exaggerated in the nineteenth century by Evangelicals and Baptist missionaries eager to Anglicize and Christianize India. Printed Pages: 488.

Title: Sati: Evangelicals, Baptist Missionaries and the Changing Colonial Discourse

Author Name: Meenakshi Jain

Categories: India, History,

Publisher: New Delhi, India, Aryan Books International: 2016

ISBN: 8173055521

ISBN 13: 9788173055522

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: New

Jacket Condition: New

Seller ID: 117996

Keywords: Sati: Evangelicals, Baptist Missionaries and the Changing Colonial Discourse Meenakshi Jain