It is a common practice in Indian society where the groom’s father demands dowry from the bride’s father prior to the fixation of marriage. Thus weddings have become a very costly affair and a mere business deal among many families today. Some men even claim that they never wanted dowry but were forced to accept it by their parents. It is surprising to see men who are strong-willed, turn into spineless meat when it comes to taking a stand against their dowry-seeking parents. If these men had any convictions, they would not have allowed their parents to accept it in the first place. It is highly shameful that even as India has positioned itself as an upcoming global superpower, practices such as dowry continue to plague our society. Many men claim that they don’t believe in the practice of accepting dowry but tolerate it on their family’s instance. How can the youth of today, so loudly demand about the causes they believe in, allow dowry to continue even without a murmur of protest?
Some men say that it is justified that their parents who have spent so much of money on their education deserve to receive some money as dowry from the girl’s parents. But the girl’s parents too have spent money on her education. Why doesn’t the boy too offer money to the girl’s father for giving him an educated girl? Even educated people indulge in this practice and many marriages have been called off as the bride’s parents have been unable to meet the exorbitant demands made by the groom’s parents, leaving so many young women in a state of emotional turmoil. Dowry is the money or gifts given to a daughter by her parents at the time of her marriage. The boy’s family considers it as their right to make demands and a lot of unpleasantness is caused at the time of marriage. Sometimes people even call off the marriage if the dowry amount received by them is inadequate.
The girl is also very often tortured by her husband and her in-laws for not bringing enough dowry. Sometimes, she is even compelled to commit suicide to escape the ill-treatment. Worse still, people even resort to murder to eliminate a bride who has not brought enough dowry. Whom do you blame for the practice of dowry existing in India? It starts in our homes itself. The very set of parents that demand dowry become the victims during the time of their own daughter’s marriage. Some men justify their acts by saying that their parents will require the money to offer as dowry when their sisters get married. Behind every case of dowry there is also a mother-in-law or sister-in-law. Mindset and beliefs don’t change easily and the only way to address them is through education and awareness. These measures yield results over a period of time. It’s time we stood up and smell the stink. If we don’t take a stand today, our very own daughters could be the next victim. Dowry and expensive wedding celebrations are responsible for increasing corruption besides being a social evil. Providing our daughter with a good education and encouraging her to pursue a career of her choice is the best dowry we can give to our daughters.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)