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During the British colonial rule of the Indian Subcontinent, the ancient Hindu tradition of Sati was still practiced: The burning of widows alive, on the funeral pyres of their dead husbands, by force if necessary.

This triggered maybe the most British threat ever.

The British — horrified by these barbaric practices — passed laws, making Sati and the equally foul tradition of stoning lepers to death, illegal. This enraged Hindu Priests, who gathered a large mob to protest the interference in their religion.

Enter Sir Charles Napier:

“Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.”

Sir Charles J Napier, Commander of British forces in India, 1843–1847.

The mob dispersed, the priests quickly vanished, and the widows were no longer burned alive.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. The more Common Sense move would have been to pass a law that the men involved with the burning would be condemned to hell if they had ever had a lustful thought in their lifetimes.
    Thank the Gods that we here in Gayotearoa have never had such overt depravity in our 500 year history , oh but wait …….

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  2. No no! I can’t believe this! How could those terrible white colonialists have dared to impose their misguided values on these people?

    The same with slavery. A well established worldwide tradition just blatantly overturned by white men. Men. That says it all.

    The world will be a much better place when all white men are made to get down on their knees and beg for forgiveness so the rest of the world can continue living their wonderful pure idyllic lives.

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