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2-min read

Temple Built in MP to Honour Woman Who Committed Sati Stirs Row

Setting aside the law, some local residents took out a religious procession in Sendhwa town on Wednesday with much pomp and splendor.

Vivek Trivedi | News18

Updated:February 8, 2018, 3:31 PM IST
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Temple Built in MP to Honour Woman Who Committed Sati Stirs Row
The temple has been named after Dadi Rani Sati, a Rajasthani woman, who lived somewhere between 13th to 17th century and set herself afire after her husband’s death. (Photos: News18)

Barwani: Even before the debate over alleged “glorification” of ‘jauhar’ in Bhansali’s Padmaavat could die down, construction of Rani Sati temple in Madhya Pradesh’s historical Sendhwa fort has drawn much flak from the intelligentsia.

The temple has been named after Dadi Rani Sati, a Rajasthani woman, who lived somewhere between 13th to 17th century and set herself afire after her husband’s death.

While widows immolated themselves on husband’s funeral pyre in ‘sati’, ‘jauhar’ was a mass self-immolation practice to avoid capture, enslavement and rape by foreign invaders. However, the practice was banned by Lord William Bentinck in 1829 and later became an Act of Parliament with the enactment of The Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987.

Setting aside the law, some local residents took out a religious procession in Sendhwa town on Wednesday with much pomp and splendor.

Much to the dismay of the activists, several elected representatives were also a part of the consecration ceremony of the idol at the temple.

Sati temple 2

Senior MP minister Antar Singh Arya, who was allocated the jail department by MP CM on Wednesday, was allegedly a part of the procession.

When reporters tried to question him on the controversy, he said that he was not a part of the function and was just passing through the area when the procession was taken out.

“Ahead of the ‘pran-pratishtha’ of the temple, I had complained to various authorities, starting from the local administration to the state capital and New Delhi. But did not get a response from anywhere,” Ajay Mittal, a lawyer said, adding that he is waiting for the administration to react, and if they fail to respond soon, he will file a PIL.

When News18 contacted authorities for their reaction, most of them were not reachable and others refused to comment.

While Sub Divisional Magistrate BS Kales could not be reached for his comments due network issues, Superintendent of Police Barwani Vijay Khatri did not respond to the calls.

However, Kales reportedly told other media organizations that the complaint against the temple was made when it was almost complete. “I could not stop ‘pran-pratishtha’ as it became a matter of faith for thousands of people,” he said. Kales further said that he had received the complaint on Monday and ordered Tehsidar and Chief Municipal Officer to probe the matter.

“Most of the administrative officers pass by the area, but never objected to the construction of the temple. In fact, the law does not even permit any construction within 200-metre periphery of the historical fort,” said Mittal.

Meanwhile, the temple trust members refused to comment on the issue, but off-the-record, one of the members said that the temple did not support sati tradition and posters have been pasted on temple walls in this regard.

An initiative by the local Agrawal samaj, the temple has an eight-and-half feet tall statue of Dadi Rani Sati inside Gupteshwar Mahadev Mandir. According to sources, the temple has been built at an estimated cost of Rs 3 crore.

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| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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