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RAJASTHAN

Govt. accused of `marketing’ sati

Wednesday 8 June 2005

Special Correspondent

AIDWA plans agitation in district headquarters

JAIPUR: The All India Democratic Women’s Association has accused the Rajasthan Government of "marketing sati’’ for tourism purposes by showcasing it as a part of the State’s cultural heritage. The "old rituals’’ and "obnoxious practices’’ of the past were being revived to suit the taste of a modern, globalised audience, the women’s organization charged.

"There is State patronage for sati glorification in Rajasthan,’’ Sudha Sundararaman, the general secretary of the AIDWA, said while talking to newspersons here on Wednesday. "The State’s Tourism Department has brought out a book which contains glorification of sati. The repeated attempts on the part of the women’s organizations for registering a case against those responsible have evoked no response from the authorities,’’ she pointed out.

Ms.Sundararaman, who was part of a women’s delegation which met the Rajasthan Governor, Pratibha Patil, and the State Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria, on the issue on Tuesday said there had been a series of incidents in the past three months in the State which were violative of the provisions of the Commission of Glorification of Sati(Prevention) Act, 1987.She said the delegation mentioned the attempted sati at Sumel(Pali district) on March 20 and the aborted move to name a new housing colony in Jaipur after Rani Sati to the Governor, who promised appraising the President on the issue after studying the cases.

"Glorification of sati is also a form of violence against women,’’ Ms.Sundararaman, who is here to attend the two day meeting of the AIDWA’s State Committee, said. "This is not a chance happening. Soon after the Bharatiya Janata Party Government came to power in Rajasthan some two dozens of persons accused of glorification of sati were acquitted by a lower court, she pointed out. Sumitra Chopra, president of the Rajasthan unit of the AIDWA, said the organization would hold a week-long protest in the district headquarters from June 9 to protest against the Government inaction on sati glorification.

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