Page:Isvar Chandra Vidyasagar, a story of his life and work.djvu/615

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ISVAR CHANDRA VIDYASAGAR.

(2) "বন্ধ্যাষ্টমেধিবেদ্যাব্দে দশমে তু মৃতপ্রজা।

একাদশে স্ত্রীজননী সদ্যস্ত্বপ্রিয়বাদিনী॥" i.e.,

'If the wife is sterile, then at the eighth year, if her male issue dies, then at the tenth year, if she gives birth only to female issues, then at the eleventh year, and if she is given to speaking unpleasant things, then without loss of time, the husband may marry another wife.'

Vidyasagar attempted to demonstrate that under any other circumstance, the taking of more wives than one was uncanonical according to the Hindu Sastras. The long and short of his arguments was that, when inter-marriage between couples of different classes had been interdicted in the Kali Yuga, the people were no more at liberty to contract marriages according to their arbitrary will. In the preface to this pamphlet, Vidyasagar has said;—

'The female sex being comparatively weaker, they are dependent on the male sex, the more so on account of the evil customs of Society. Owing to this weakness and dependence, they pass their days in a state of degradation and humiliation. The strong, authoritative male sex commit unlawful acts of violence on the other sex according to their sweet will. The females being quite helpless, put up with them patiently, and lead a miserable life. This is almost the case all over the world. But the sadly deplorable state, under which the females of this unfortunate land pine away on ac-

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