When the British Put an End to the Hindu
Custom of Burning Widows in India
“Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.”
— General Charles James Napier (1782-1853) of the British Army to Hindu priests in India complaining to him about the prohibition of Sati, the religious funeral practice of burning widows alive on their husbands’ funeral pyres.