JSAWS Vol. 2, No. 2 (May 15, 1996) - ISSN 1085-7478

Enrica Garzilli 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.

                http://www.shore.net/~india/jsaws/
                     jsaws-request at shore.net

has just been distributed by email to our Members.

It is now available on our ftp server:
ftp://ftp.shore.net/members/india/jsaws/issues/

In a few days it will be published on our WWW pages:
http://www.shore.net/~india/jsaws/

CONTENTS:

- NOTE FROM THE EDITOR

- PAPERS:
  *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)

- NEWS

- COPYRIGHT NOTICE

              SATI WAS NOT ENFORCED IN ANCIENT NEPAL
                                 by 
                            Jayaraj Acharya

Abstract

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
                                    by
                               Bandita Phukan

Abstract

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
                                    by
                             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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