Although the act was supposed to be voluntary on the widow's part, its practice is forbidden by the Hindu scriptures in Kali yuga, the current age.
Jauhar refers to the practice of voluntary immolation by wives and daughters of defeated warriors, in order to avoid capture and consequent molestation by the enemy.
Child marriage remains common in rural areas, although it is illegal under current Indian law.
Sati is an old, almost completely defunct custom among some communities, in which the widow was immolated alive on her husband's funeral pyre.
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