Explain the morality in banning sati.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that there is a morality in banning the practice of sati on a couple of levels.  The first would rest on the idea that some widows who practice it are forced to do so.  I am particularly noting the instances where men would hold women in the fire with long poles, indicating that the women wanted to escape, but were prevented from doing so.  I think that this indicates that banning the practice is moral because it seeks to provide a space free from external intrusion for those who did not want to commit the practice.  From an even wider moral point of view, I believe that the outlawing of the practice ends up saving lives.  In this, there is a greater moral purpose, as opposed to embracing a practice that takes the lives of women, though it is not their own choices.  From a political morality point of view, the banning of sati is a step towards the normalization and equalizing of the genders.  It is a step to where women and men are equally valid individuals in determining their own being in the world.  I think that this is where the banning of the practice of sati achieves a sense of political morality.


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