INDIA: A Possibility of Freedom

"For a woman," says an old Hindu maxim, "there is no god on earth other than her man." The most extreme form of this belief was the custom dictating that the widow fling herself on her husband's funeral pyre. Enlightened British rule put a legal end to the practice of suttee (widow suicide), but the widow's lot has remained a poor one. Under Hindu laws, widows are not permitted to wear jewelry, bright clothing, makeup. They cannot attend wedding or birthday celebrations. Under strict laws of inheritance dating back 3,000 years, a Hindu's property is strictly entailed, passing from father...

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