Sati system – Evangelical Missionaries, British forgery.


In the previous article sati practice, I wrote the historical facts whether sati practice is mandatory according to religious and legal texts, and also the foreign travellers’ accounts, sculpture evidence from ancient India period to pre british era

Now I will write the stunning facts how these colonials created and drilled into our minds about the lies on sati system and abolition of sati.

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Early British appreciation of Indian traditional background –

Before going to the British baptist missionaries manufactured debate on sati system, we will see how the east Indian company praised our Indian culture and civilisation when they set foot in India .

The records say that early English men are in full praise of our culture. How they evaluated and analysed our Hindu civilization which is very important to know which are not at all debated still today.

First of all, we should examine the first account by john grose account who is an east India company employee.

John grose views on india 

Another east Indian company employee testimonial by John Howell.

john howell on hindu texts

                                 Another employee Alexander Dow who is lieutenant of east India company military wrote a book in 1770 ( History of Hindustan)

Alexander dow book history of Hindustan

Other persons luke scrafton , Robert Orme , George Forster and few more also wrote good testimonials on Indian culture and traditions, knowledge.

They are not historians or they are not bound to write. They wrote without partiality what they have seen and read about Indian culture.

All of them are praising our culture and how well advanced in science and greatness of Sanskrit etc.

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The Orientalists-

Warren hastings the first governor-general of India and he with a band of scholars encouraged to study the Indian sculptures, architecture, Ancient Indian texts, language, culture.

The group of orientalists who  made a systematic study and made lot of accounts , books, records about our Indian culture greatness to this mankind 

Warren hastings who has the passion of Indian culture and he used to visit kali ghat temple and also use to meet Sanskrit pandits in Banaras to understand the Indian texts and the culture.

He gathered a group of orientalists and they are Nathaniel halhed , Charles Wilkins, Jonathan Duncan and William Jones. Also H.T Colebrooke, H.H Wilson, James princep

These all people made lot of contribution to Indian culture , philosophy, archaeology etc.

Warren hastings said we should rule and make laws in  India through Indian institutions and ancient texts. He is not interested to bring English laws.

Hastings and this orientalists with the help of Vedic pandits translated the ancient Shastras with the expenses of the east Indian company.

In 1778 halhed published a grammar book of Bengali language. He said Sanskrit is the mother of all Indian languages.

Charles Wilkins, he engaged in the study of Sanskrit and he translated the Bhagavad Gita and this is the first translation into European languages from Sanskrit. He also translated hitopadesha and wrote a grammar of Sanskrit.

Asiatic society of bengal-

In 1784 with the patronage of hatings Asiatic Society of Bengal was established. This society gave the knowledge of India to westerners people through their articles, publications.

Willians jones translated Kalidas and it made European people think about the greatness of Indian literature.

H.T.Collebroke became head of Asiatic society and he also made a lot of contributions in publishing ancient antiquities. Jonathan Duncan, he established Sanskrit college in Banaras.

H.H. Wilson, he was secretary of Asiatic Society of Bengal. He translated Vishnu Puranas and Rigveda. He always praised Sanskrit which is the base of Indian culture.

These people all promoted and praised our Indian culture and made lot of contributions.

Other than these orientalists so many other European scholars also praised our Indian culture and told Indians were most civilised people.

Robert baker presented a paper to royal Asiatic society and he mentioned the mathematical exactness of stone instruments of the observatory in Banaras

So all these people who admired India and why in the end of the 18th century our India was suddenly projected as the land of evil customs.

The Evangelical movement-

Till now we saw the appreciation of Indian culture and why it suddenly the discourse has shifted against India.

In 1789 evangelical movement came in England to spread religion among masses. The principle of this movement is to avoid the turbulence, chaos, bloodshed brought by the french revolution so this is the only way to spread the religion.

When the french revolution is its high peak and millions of Bibles were distributed in Britain and evangelicals said the spread of bible brings prosperity to British and also to the land it controls.

The Evangelicals established societies like London missionary society(1795), Church missionary society(1799) and British and Foreign Bible Society (1804).

Charles grant brought these missionaries to India and he was the first person to argue that India must be baptised and westernised, Christianised. If we obtain these objectives then the British rule in India will be permanent.

The other English men use to say British rule may continue in India for almost for 50-60 years, but Charles grant is the first person to say if we take these steps of Christianizing India by bringing western education.

In 1786 He prepared a plan ‘’Mission to Bengal” by Dividing the Bengal into 8 missionary circles and set up schools and churches to propagated western education and Christianity.

He presented this plan to east India company in 1792 and after that, he became head of east India company and this document was printed as a parliamentary paper in 1813. 

This document exposes the evangelical mindset and it totally condemns and denounces the Hindu society.

2 Decades Before 1792 the same east Indian company men were praising the Indian society for their great culture, knowledge and civilisation.

From 1792 the discourse has changed against India after this document published (Observations on the state of society among the Asiatic subjects of great Britan).

In 1805 Charles grant was made the director of east India company and in 1806 James mill and Jeremy Bentham were leaders of the utilitarian movement in England and they formed an alliance with evangelicals.

James mill who never visited India and no idea of India but in 1806 he began to write Indian history. He echoes the Charles grant views and his book became a textbook to English men who enter into British service in India. He is the first person to write anti-Hindu books.

These utilitarians joined with missionaries and became a strong force. These were placed in the important position of east India company in India.

The missionaries are not allowed to India to preach Christianity in the company territory but they first entered into a dutch colony of Serampore in Bengal. The main people in Serampore missionary are Willian Carey, William ward, Joshua Marshman.

They played cunning tactics by preaching in the streets against Hinduism. William Carey created doubts in worshippers mind by creating confusion is worshipping lord Saraswathi is correct? He also propagated that brahmins are ignorant people and also Joshua Marshman also did the same thing. 

The first thing is they ridiculed the Hindu gods and also propagated against brahmins because they know brahmins are an obstacle to their conversions. Women were forced to jump into pyre by brahmins. Women were drugged and tied with ropes so that they cant run away. They once challenged a brahmin if you have the power in you then stop the sunset.

They compared the Hindu culture with poison and lowering the Hindu texts in the minds of people.

Female Infanticide 

They created a story of female infanticide and they passed a law in 1802 to ban female infanticide. The surprise is there is no protest because this practice is not existent. The created stories to convince British company that reformist Christian state was required in India.

But H.H.Wilson secretary of Asiatic society condemned by saying there is no such practice in Hindu society and it is very rare. Willian jones condemned there is no such practice.

Claudius Buchanan wrote publications against Hinduism and in 1811 William Ward also created accounts against Hinduism and sati pratha was high incidence, forced. Missionaries published these accounts widely in their journals to raise funds

Missionaries were not allowed to India except Serampore and if they arrive to India they were sent back to England because the British told it will affect their rule in India.

Missionaries were not allowed by the British parliament from 1793 to 1813. In every 20 years, east India company charter act is to be renowned. In 1813 missionaries requested for entry into India. The former east India company officials argued the missionary accounts were false which were written against India and they didn’t give permission to enter into India and henry Montgomery said missionaries will not get success in Christianizing India.

He made an interesting statement Women jumping into the pyre of their husband is not a religious rite and sati was not sanctioned by Hindu scriptures.

But finally with William Wilberforce intervention finally parliament agreed to give permission to missionaries to enter into British territory in India. The missionaries numerous petitions and influence made parliament to give permission to missionaries and missionaries entered into India to destroy our Hindu culture.

I wrote all the points because to tell the readers how the missionaries and some east india company officials made planning and cunning tactics to defame Indian culture and got permission. This made some other British officials viewpoint that India is a land of evil customs and English rule is a must to introduce a civilisation.

Missionary surveys – Role of baptist missionaries from England.

Here we divide this missionary propaganda into 2 phases and 1st phase -1803-1813 and 2nd phase-1813-1829.

In 1803 the missionaries appointed ten people to record the cases of sati in and around Calcutta. First of British got control and rule over Bengal they had chosen this region.

In 1803 missionaries did survey in and around 30 km of Calcutta and recorded around 430 cases and basin on these numbers they calculated and assumed that thousands of sati incidents were happening all over India. William Carey wrote a letter in 1812 to his friend by saying every year 10000 forceful sati incidents are happening in India.

Charles grant who wrote book in 1792 before (1803)missionaries survey said every year 33000 women were murdered along with husband pyres without any study.

Government Survey-

Charles lushington who is a chief of the government condemned the missionaries survey and there was no base for the numbers.

This the first counter to missionaries propaganda.

In the 2nd phase from 1815-1824, the British government did surveys in the 3 presidencies of Bengal, Bombay and madras and they found 6632 sati daha pratha cases and 90% cases are from Bengal

In Bombay and madras presidency between 1815-1820 only 50 sati incidents occurred. South Malabar judge wrote a letter that no incidents occurred in his region and 2 incidents were stopped by the neighbours and family members.  He says the people resisted the sati system.

Madras and Bombay presidency judges also told sati incidents are very rare in their region.

Sati system in Bengal-

In history, nobody said a lot of sati is happening in Bengal, then why suddenly this exaggeration of thousands of cases have been created because Calcutta is the city of renaissance and land of intellectuals. Missionaries to accomplish their mission they created this non-sense.

The no of cases in Bengal presidency is very low but missionaries propagated that one husband has 30 wives and it continuously for 3 days the pyre was burning to complete the women immolation.

Eminent historian  Christopher Bayly says the number is an exaggeration to defame Hinduism. Between 1817 to 1827 only 4323 cases were recorded out of 160 million population of British ruling terrorism in India. He also says the practice of sati in the region of Calcutta is also very negligible.

As we discussed they were sati stones and temples in India. If it is true then why no sati stones exist in Bengal. 

Missionary propaganda-

Robert Pearce wrote in his correspondence that between 1756 to 1829 more than 70000 women were immolated and sati system in India was cruel. The baptist missionaries in Indian Journals propagated by 1829 that 1 million widows immolated in Bengal. How they got this number has no evidence.?

Missionaries also told that young girls of age 8 to 10 were thrown into pyre but According to government statistics, 60% of the widows who immolated themselves were older than 40 years.

One by one account keeps on increasing the figures of sati system.

Abolition of sati

In 1828 William Bentick was appointed as governor-general of India.

Before his arrival into India, he wrote a letter to his friend that he is going to take this sati issue very seriously and after arriving to India within 18 months he abolished sati system.

In 1829 baptist missionaries pleaded a petition to abolish sati and there was no resistance to this abolition sati act 1829.

After passing this act there was no single incident occurred. But how? They propagated thousands of women are immolating themselves but how it was stopped suddenly after passing the law. We should think about this. 

Actually, we have discussed it is negligible and already this sati system was dying at that time.

Who abolished sati?

The British historians wrote William Bentick who was the governor-general abolished sati and they made him a reformer. But we should know some real facts who abolished sati before the British. Please check the image below.

who stopped sati pratha

Raja ram Mohan Roy –

Who stopped sati system in India? We say raja ram Mohan Roy which we studied in our textbooks.

Who was raja ram moha, Roy? he is a social reformer in Bengal and fought against the sati.

There is an allegation raja ram Mohan Roy also echoed the British propaganda and supported English education and opposed Sanskrit. He loves Sanskrit but opposes Sanskrit.

He said Sanskrit education will keep the country in darkness. He praised British rule in India

Raja ram Mohan Roy has a friendship with British officials and he spent his life and died in London. He was part of a queen official meeting which is only restricted to English men.

Special mention

George Forster 1782-many of Hindu widows especially in the MarathaRegion have acquired by their ability, their wealth, connection, or intrigue, the possession of extensive power and influence.

A judge is Bengal also wrote a letter that 52 women filed cases in court to acquire their husband properties.

But the British brought a law that inheritance of property to the widow is stuck down.. So taking this law as an advantage some of the widow neighbours forcefully burnt widows with husband pyre.

British policy and laws

Let us assume sati incidents were not recorded properly from the ancient period to till British. Lakhs of women were burnt then how come the population of India increased.

Witchhunt in Europe

In the name of witch hunt, they burnt so many women in Europe.

More people died in France and England every month through suicide and duelling than widows burnt in a year -Abbe Dubois

Jauhar Kund Chittorgarh-

Here Jauhar is different and not related to sati. It was done by a group of women if their husbands die in a war and to protect their chastity from the invaders they did Jauhar. We saw already in Padmavati film.

Sati system in india- 

Sati sahagamana means not forcing the wife into the husband pyre. If the husband dies and the wife also dies immediately and her soul goes along with him that is called as sahagamana.

We have lot of examples seeing if a husband dies after hearing the news wife also died.

Sati in India today- 
In 1943-1987 30 incidents occurred in India and last sati pratha case occurred in Rajasthan by 1 18-year-old woman Roopa Kanwar. After that Government of India brought sati abolition act 1987 to stop these incidents.

In 2006 one incident occurred

Sati which i know-

Sati means not only jumping into the fire it may be dead after listening to the death news of her husband or committing suicide.

In my apartment, an old couple has a daughter and the daughter husband died due to health issues and after his death, she committed suicide by hitting a train. She told before if her husband dies she will also die. She loves her husband like anything even though he scolds her and beats hr also she still loves him.


So this article is big but i wrote to tell the facts and these British and missionaries did bad propaganda and it was adhered by the leftists’ historians also. 

In my childhood, i read in textbooks and in films i saw that sati system was prevalent in India and sati was an evil practice encouraged by Hindu scriptures.

So for more information please read the book written by Meenakshi Jain. She did 15 years research on this sati.

Finally, Does any Hindu philosophy support Sati Pratha?  Not at all.

People who know telugu can watch the below videos.

We are trying to make aware of our present generation about the greatness of our Indian glory.

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