Page:Isvar Chandra Vidyasagar, a story of his life and work.djvu/611

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Bill for the prevention of polygamy among the Hindus in Bengal, except under certain specified circumstances. The Government of India, however, doubted whether the popular feeling in Bengal was sufficiently prepared for legislation on this subject, and also remarked that the proposed measure, while it would restrain the excesses of polygamy, would have the effect of giving legal sanction to its adoption within the prescribed limits, an objection which, in the opinion of the Government of India, was entitled to greater weight than the Lieutenant-Governor appeared inclined to concede to it. On these considerations the Governor-General in Council desired that no Bill should be at once introduced, but that further inquiries should be prosecuted. Acting under these directions the Lieutenant-Governor appointed a Committee consisting of some of the leading members of the native community in Calcutta, associated with Messrs. C. Hobhouse and H. T. Prinsep, with instructions to mature a scheme which would put a stop to the evils complained of, without, on the one hand, affecting the general liberty possessed by all Hindus of taking more than one wife, or on the other giving express sanction to that liberty by a legislative enactment. The report of the Committee was submitted in February 1867. The Kulin Brahmins being the class to whom the excesses complained of were almost exclusively confined, (and chiefly to the Bhongo

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