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Dowry System in India

BY: Muhammed Haris | Category: India | Post Date: 2009-08-02
 



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   Muhammed Haris
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Dowry system is a huge problem in India and has been a source of great disturbance and embarrassment in our society. Dowry is a cultural system where the parents of bride (girl) pay huge amounts of money, expensive gifts and jewellery to bride groom (boy) and his parents during marriage. Historically, it was a system of honoring a bride groom for his willingness to accept a girl for marriage. Earlier, this system was prevalent only among very wealthy families. Unfortunately, greed of dowry has struck to most ordinary families in India. In the marriages of all levels of society, Dowry is usually an unspoken requirement. These bride grooms have been rated with dowry worth Millions of rupees. Depending on the social status, education qualification and affluence of family the amount of Dowry can vary significantly. Infact many believe that a person who is not demanding the Dowry might have some faults in him, so that he cannot bargain for dowry. Legally, dowry is a banned practice in India but it still happens all over the place. Many educated and sensible youths have gone against the idea of Dowry and they simply have a noble intention of marrying a girl without taking any money.

Dowry is usually a promise to give the money and wealth to the guy and his parents. Later if the girl's parents cannot afford to give those things, the treatment of their daughter at the guys home can get quite bad. She may get harassed everyday because her parents were not able to give enough dowry.

It is true that a young man may require financial support to settle comfortably in his life and to fulfill other needs. But it should not be a reason to ask for dowry and to spoil the life of a girl. Gifts that a girl gets from her parents home should solely be their wish and there should be no pressure to spend more while marrying their daughter. There are many instances when a wife commits suicide, because of her helplessness to tolerate the harassment for dowry. There are many instances when a wife is murdered because her parents were not able to give enough dowry. This murder is usually made like an accident.

Parents blindly promise good amount of dowry because of love and affection towards their daughter. But the expenditure of marriage and other related expenses make them financially weak up to the extent they cannot afford to give the promised dowry. Because of dowry system, people no longer prefer having a baby girl in India. Dowry system should be discouraged. The culture of buying and selling items as objects should never be accepted in our society.

Dowry law in India
Dowry was prohibited in 1961 under Indian civil law and followed by Sections 304B and 498a of the Indian Penal Code. Individuals involved in dowry can be sent to jail for 6 months to 3 years. This includes husband, Father-In-Law, Mother-In-Law or any other relatives or non-relatives found guilty. It can also include fine. But if a murder is committed then there is atleast a 7 year fine or life in prison, plus fine.

Some people contact police, media organizations and women liberation outfits to get maximum attention.

A good book:
Encyclopaedia of violence against women and dowry death in India, By Kalpana Roy.

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