The Hindu Widows' Remarriage Act was passed by the East India Company in 1856. The East India Company was a colonial government composed of British merchants. The company ruled in India from 1757 to 1858.
The Hindu Widows' Remarriage Act states that Hindu widows may remarry, still retain inheritance rights and have legitimate children if their conscience allows it. This is contrary to the Indian tradition of upper caste widows, in which they remained single and lived a life of self-denial regardless of their age or whether or not the marriage was consummated. As of 2015, the Hindu Widows' Remarriage Act is still in place regardless of the many government changes that have occurred in India since the act became law.