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Death by Fire: Sati, Dowry Death and Female Infanticide in Modern India

Mala Sen (Author)
Synopsis The ancient practice of sati, the self-immolation of a woman on her husband’s funeral pyre, was outlawed by the British administration in India in 1829. The practice was believed to have died out, but the fate of Roop Kanwar, an eighteen-year-old Rajasthani woman who was burned on her husband’s funeral pyre in 1987, changed that perception. Mala Sen, author of the acclaimed biography of Phoolan Devi, India’s notorious Bandit Queen, explores the reality of life and death for women in modern India in this illuminating and terrifying study. The book is part journey through the India that Sen knows and loves and part exploration of the enigma that India still remains in the minds of many. Starting with Roop Kanwar, Sen enters the worlds of three women: a goddess, a burned bride and a woman accused of killing her daughter. The author shows how, in this society in which ancient and modern apparently co-exist comfortably, there increasingly is real cause for alarm. She describes a state in which political turmoil is constantly at the surface and in which the role of women is constantly being redefined.
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Bibliographic information

Title Death by Fire: Sati, Dowry Death and Female Infanticide in Modern India
Author Mala Sen
Format Softcover
Date published: 01.01.2001
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 0143027662
length xiv+270p.