159TH YEARS OF HINDU WIDOWS REMARRIAGE!

1586The Hindu Widows’ Remarriage Act, 1856, also Act XV, 1856, enacted on 25 July 1856, legalized the remarriage of Hindu widows in all jurisdictions of India under East India Company rule and The first Widows Remarriage was took place on 7th December 1856 in Calcutta.

In order to protect both what it considered family honour and family property, upper-caste Hindu society had long disallowed the remarriage of widows, even child and adolescent ones, all of whom were expected to live a life of austerity and abnegation. The Hindu Widows’ Remarriage Act of 1856, enacted in response to the campaign of Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, provided legal safeguards against loss of certain forms of inheritance for a remarrying Hindu widow, though, under the Act, the widow forsook any inheritance due her from her deceased husband. Especially targeted in the act were Hindu child widows whose husbands had died before consummation of marriage.

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