India is a land of diversity, with many beautiful states, languages, representing unity, culture, traditions etc. I am very proud and glad to be an Indian. However ,I was sad to hear some recent news from my home state of Kerala. I came to know about violence and atrocities committed against women in the name of money and wealth and the most recent one happened in my home district of Kollam. The society called this ugly system- ‘dowry’.
Actually, I was so curious to know more about this and I came to know that people have been practicing it for many decades. Dowry is nothing but the transfer of parental properties, gifts or money upon the marriage of a daughter. And the most strange thing is, as the groom’s job, wealth and family heritage increases, the amount of dowry also increases. Sadly, the girl’s education, job or family heritage is not at all considered, instead she is viewed as a trading commodity.
To make things worse, some men who were married have tortured their wives as they are not satisfied with the dowry they have received. Some even killed or forced their wives to commit suicides. Even though there are laws and acts, the government doesn’t pay any heed or give the deserved punishment to the crime committers. Dowry is like business for the groom’s family, In ancient times it was only for the upper caste families but now it has become universal. Usually dowry was given to the groom or the groom’s family for looking after the bride, but we can’t agree with that policy. Often, The bride’s family had to take huge loans from the banks, sell their assets and give of their lands and other properties.
The situation became so worse that poor people started killing their daughters after birth, as they know that they will have to give money to the groom’s family if their daughter get’s married. (it has been reported in some places of India). Women were suppressed by this system and many of them attempted suicide. Dowry has become a nightmare for women, as they get harassed by their husbands for wealth and money. It is estimated that 8000 plus women were killed because of dowry system. Dowry system doesn’t give women equal rights in the society. It makes men superior to women. Dowry can flame things up as it is now followed as a tradition. Men don’t even care about their wives they just want to get the money and all the gifts. This system had been there in India for a long time, after the British left it had just increased.
This system allows a lot of domestic violence which often goes unreported. We presume that dowry takes place only in rural areas but the truth is that, it takes place in cities and urban areas. It is mostly the well-educated families, who expect dowries would add to their wealth. There is a law which has been several amendments made to the Dowry Act in 1983 which makes dowry illegal in India. How ever, the dowry system continues and more strict laws and enforcements is required.
When we were children we were taught good manners by our parents, and one of them was, ‘say thank you’ and never judge the gift that another person has given to you. Never criticize anyone based appearance, gender, shape, and colour. Whatever it maybe, we don’t have the right to say that it is ‘worthless’, because it is their gift. But after we grow why do our parents change their attitude towards these things?? Why does the groom’s family force the groom to judge the dowry they have acquired??
At school all the boys and girls are equal, They eat the same food, they study in the same classroom, they learn the same lessons from the teacher in the same way, but after 18, what specialty can be seen in a boy, than in a girl. What is the reason to downgrade a girl after she completes her education.
To stop this, first we have to spread awareness to the parents and to their growing children. For this, educate them how to behave towards women. The government should kill or punish the ones who did these things, and bring justice to the victim. We know lots of people are trying to bring equality among men and women.
So to conclude, giving or taking dowry is bad. And forcing to give it is terrible. Let’s hope that with in a few years this evil system will sweep away from our society. “Any young man, who makes dowry a condition to marriage, discredits his education and his country and dishonors womanhood”- Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.