JSAWS Vol. 2, No. 2 (May 15, 1996) - ISSN 1085-7478
garzilli at shore.net
Sat May 18 12:22:56 EDT 1996
We are pleased to announce that the:
JOURNAL OF SOUTH ASIA WOMEN STUDIES
VOL. 2, NO. 2 (MAY 15, 1996) -- ISSN 1085-7478
(C) 1996 JSAWS. All rights reserved.
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has just been distributed by email to our Members.
It is now available on our ftp server:
In a few days it will be published on our WWW pages:
- NOTE FROM THE EDITOR
*Sati was not Enforced in Ancient Nepal*, by Jayaraj Acharya
*The Daughters and Hindu Rites*, by Bandita Phukan
*Practical Steps Towards Saving the Lives of 25,000 Potential Victims
of Dowry and Bride-Burning in India in the Next Four Years* by
Himendra B. Thakur.
- NEW TITLES:
Review of Nancy Dammann, *We Tried. Government Service in India and
Nepal* (Enrica Garzilli)
Review of Taslima Nasrin, *The Game in Reverse. Poems* (Enrica Garzilli)
- COPYRIGHT NOTICE
SATI WAS NOT ENFORCED IN ANCIENT NEPAL
Sati, the ancient custom in the Hindu religion of a wife being burnt with
her dead husband, does not seem to have been enforced in ancient Nepal,
i.e. during the rule of the Licchavi dynasty (c. A.D. 300-879).
In this paper, the about 190 stone inscriptions from this period are
considered. The only Licchavi inscription which has a reference to the
sati system is the inscription of Manadeva I at the Changu Narayana temple
in the north-eastern corner of the Kathmandu valley (A.D. 464). This
inscription does not refer to the commitment of sati but abstention from
it. Moreover, out of the total 190, there are 18 stone inscriptions that
were installed exclusively by widows during the Licchavi period. Of the 18
inscriptions of widows, only 3 were by members of the royal family. These
are some instances that evidently indicate the abstention from sati, but
there is not a single evidence in any of the 190 inscriptions from the
Licchavi period Nepal that says that someone did it.
* * * * *
THE DAUGHTERS AND HINDU RITES
This the account of Ms. Bandita Phukan. She is the first woman mechanical
engineer in the State of Assam. When her father died in 1993, the
relatives tried to find a son of a cousin to do the last rites (Shraddha),
because her father did not have a son. Bandita revolted, and asked the
priest to permit her to do the last rites. At the beginning, the priest
refused. Last rites of a dead person can be performed only by a male
member of the family, and never by a daughter. Bandita did not give up. At
her insistence, one Brahmin priest came forward and allowed her to perform
the last rites of her father.
If married Hindu daughters could be allowed to perform the Shraddha
cerimonies, concludes Phukan, their surviving parents would be happy to
have a dear daughter as eligible as their dear son.
* * * * *
PRACTICAL STEPS TOWARDS SAVING THE LIVES OF 25,000 POTENTIAL VICTIMS
OF DOWRY AND BRIDE-BURNING IN INDIA IN THE NEXT FOUR YEARS
Himendra B. Thakur
This paper offers an analysis of one of the remedies that could be
suggested to oppose dowry: young women should refuse to marry as soon as
the groom's family asks for dowry. It gives statistics and examines: 1)
the cases of dowry-deaths in India; 2) the geographical distribution of
concentration of dowry-deaths per million Hindu popolation. In the last
part of the paper, Thakur outlines three immediate and a long-term
solutions given women who refuse to marry because of dowry demand.
Enjoy the reading!
Dr. Enrica Garzilli
Harvard Law School
Editor-in-Chief, IJTS and JSAWS
Managing Editor, EJVS
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