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19th-century painting depicting the act of Sati (Wellcome Images / CC by SA 4.0)

Shocking Things That Were Normal in Ancient India (Video)

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Ancient India's history is marked by practices that, by today's standards, appear bewildering. One such practice was baby dropping, where infants under 2 years old were shaken and dropped from shrines, often leading to tragic consequences. This custom stemmed from faith and healing beliefs but almost always ended in the infant's demise. Additionally, the caste system, while distinct from ancient Greek slavery, was a brutal segregation system. Untouchables, the social outcasts, endured menial jobs, paltry wages, and brutality from the upper classes, perpetuating a cycle of oppression and discrimination. Astrological superstitions influenced customs, leading to rituals where women deemed cursed due to unfavorable astrological signs had to marry trees or animals before humans.

The dehumanization of women was evident in practices like Svayamvara, where women's autonomy in choosing spouses eroded, as they were treated as commodities, passed from fathers to husbands. Arguably the most shocking was sati, where widows, considered their late husbands' property, were often coerced into self-immolation on funeral pyres. This horrifying practice reached its zenith between the 15th and 18th centuries, with up to 1,000 widows immolated annually. These customs, though once considered normal, now evoke profound astonishment and disbelief. Ancient India's history is a complex tapestry of both admirable and deeply disturbing aspects, offering a riveting subject for exploration.

Top image: 19 th-century painting depicting the act of Sati (Wellcome Images / CC by SA 4.0)

By Robbie Mitchell

 

Comments

andyoclover's picture

One should become more familiar with culture of ancient India to understand it.From a westerners point of view it is absolute nonsense because of lack of information.Wives went into the funeral fire because they considered nit worth living without husband.And again this sentence is just an excerpt .One has to look more deeply into it.
Even Wikipedia:
Svayamvara is a type of marriage mentioned in Hindu mythology where a woman chose a man as her husband from a group of suitors.The bride would place a garland on the man of her choice and a marriage ceremony was held immediately.
By scratching the surface one will be lead to wrong conclusions and will have miles off understanding.
As your self what was the purpose for making this article and video?

Yes, your buddy's mother earns lots of money, just not in front of her pc....

Robbie Mitchell's picture

Robbie

I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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