Page:Isvar Chandra Vidyasagar, a story of his life and work.djvu/603

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ISVAR CHANDRA VIDYASAGAR.

"That the remedy, though obvious and perfectly consistent with the Hindu Law, cannot, in the present disorganised state of Hindu Society, be applied by the force of public opinion, or any other power than that derived by Legislature."

In the course of one year, a number of similar petitions were submitted to Government by Maharaja Satis Chandra Ray Bahadur of Nuddea, the Raja of Dinajpur, and some influential bodies of the several districts of Bengal proper. Among these, the one submitted on the 22nd July, 1856, by Babu Raj Mohan Ray, a Zemindar of Dacca, was subscribed by many Pandits and professors of Sanskrit, besides a great number of laymen. We cannot forbear quoting a small extract from this petition:—

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"The female children married under the circumstances commonly continue after the marriage to live with their parents, their nominal husbands generally taking no notice of them and having no communication with them; but that, in the event of the death of their husbands, they are subject to all the disabilities which law and custom impose upon Hindu widows."

But the attempts of the petitioners failed. The Government had already passed the Widow Marriage Act in spite of the opposition of the majority of the Hindus, and they thought inadvisable and unsafe to force upon the subjects

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