Dowry- “A social curse”

India- a country renowned for its diversity in culture, where women are Goddess and marriages- pious and sacred. Then why does a country so full of righteous morals indulge in something that is so devilish and evil- named “DOWRY”.

What exactly is DOWRY?

Dowry is a “marital condition” that dates back centuries.

Put in simple words dowry is just a bribe, given to the groom, on behalf of the bride’s family “as a condition for marriage”.

It is an inhuman act that takes place under the veil of tradition and is an illegal act but obviously we have nothing to do with its legality because for us it’s a pious tradition.

There is this colleague of mine – ”Seema” (Well educated engineer working in an MNC) and she is getting married real soon. She came with a box of sweets the other day to celebrate the joyous moment. Here cheeks were red and every ounce of her body was chirping with joy. She seemed to be completely mesmerized with her would be. Same evening we colleagues decided to go out and celebrate her joy. Soon enough, she started describing how her marriage was fixed. With all ears and eyes on her she started her “La-La Land” story.

But pause! Suddenly came up a question- How much are you paying?

Meanwhile; when I was still struggling to digest the question; Seema had actually an answer to that which only made me gulp all my anger deep in me. To my horror she replied “Gold worth 40 lac and a car of my parent’s choice”. I was taken aback and compelled to interrupt; I said “You are getting married and not kidnapped so paying such a hefty ransom is ridiculous“. All my colleagues – mind you well educated engineers laughed at me comfortably, tagging me “a feminist”. I was reminded that it’s an ancient and “an element of marriage”. Irritated enough I left the place.

Coming to our ancient practice; let us all be reminded that our great great grand ancestors gave some money and things of the bride’s use and comfort when she went to her new place ; so that she had no struggles for things of her necessity in her new home. Everything was for “her” and for her new paradise . But our creative minds soon turned this gift into dowry and began demanding something that was never meant to be for them.

Question of the millennium- Why is dowry supposed to be stigmatized”?

Dowry is an illegitimate demand that knows no ends. The hunger of this demand sometimes lasts forever. At least a dozen of women die everyday in kitchen fire while some are harassed brutally and victimized. Few even commit suicide due to mental tortures and sufferings for not being able to fulfill the demand of repeated dowry. Many acts have been passed, many cases have been filed; but only a few taste justice. No wonder female infanticide still prevails in our society because if the girl’s family does not have a good and heavy amount to pay ; it is impossible to get her a good match.

“Dowry is a mentality that turns relation into business!”

The very concept of dowry is baseless. Just because someone has more secretion of testosterone does not mean that he needs to be paid for it. Moreover, in this male chauvinist society how does it not hurt a man’s ego surprises me. Can’t a man cater to his own needs? Why does someone ever want to give their daughter to a man who is always wanting and demanding more from her and her family? Isn’t this equivalent to buying a care taker for her?

You don’t have to pay any amount to keep your daughter happy for the rest of her life. She can very well do that herself just like your son!

Marriage is a relation that is supposed to be based on trust and love. Dowry unfortunately kills both. Marriage is sharing of emotions not material. It has nothing to give and take materialistically. It is a part of building a new family and a new paradise. You don’t buy your daughter a husband; she lawfully gets him just like your son. The concern is it’s just not the illiterate people; it’s the educated crowd as well. India is a fastest developing country; a country where tradition is a trademark. But dowry is an evil eye which has cursed us.

Yes, it is punishable by law but no law can abolish this.

“This is a social problem and can be fought only on social level.”

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Shreya Verma

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Shreya Verma

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