Dowry System- The Termite of Indian Society
Dowry system- the most discussed topic in India. Right? It is so talked matter that I don’t think I need to define what dowry system is actually. So let’s move on and shed some lights on the problems of dowry system. You must have heard this word but did you ever ponder what the heinous evil is this? When the discussion is about dowry system, people brag big. We should do this, we should do that, we shouldn’t be greedy and much more such crowing talks.
But when it comes to reality, everybody does just opposite of it. Apparently or secretly, every groom family demands lacs and crores from bride family just to show off their status in the society or maybe because they have educated their son and given him the values so they’re selling him on higher rates. Yes, you read it right. Selling is the right word to be used here.
I don’t understand what kind of education is this and what kind of values are these which are making humans the Devils. Today, marriage has become a matter of trade. Marriage, such a pious relationship, is being weighed out with money only. Love has been disappeared from the world. Today, let’s discuss the problems of dowry system in detail.
Where did the problems of dowry system come:
Dowry or call it in Hindi ‘Dahej’ is not a new custom to Indians. It has been practiced since the ancient Vedic times. But at that time, there used to be no demand from groom’s family rather the bride’s family used to give enormous wealth and giftswith heart. And whatever groom’s family used to get they accept it with full content. In ancient India, women held high respect in the society. They were treated with love and dignity.
With the course of time, the compromises started in marriage. For example- in medieval history, many Rajput princesses had to marry Mughal emperors just in sake of their fathers. The Rajput kings had only two options, either to marry their daughters to the Mughals or to give in with the whole kingdom. And they chose the earlier. From here, the meaning of marriage changed. It became more of a compromise and demands rose in between indirectly.
As time moved on little more, the concept of marriage and the ‘Dahej’ changed entirely. During British Rule in India, the term ‘gifts from bride family’ was turned into Dowry. From then onwards, it is called dowry. At that time, not only this term was changed but people’s mentality changed too. As a result, today, dowry has become the pivot of marriages and gone to the deep-rooted in our society.
Causes of dowry system:
I have noticed that this dowry epidemic is broken out especially in rich societies. In poor societies, the matter is not at the highest peak. If you would ask me the main culprit of dowry system, I would frankly point out to the boy who is getting married. If his education doesn’t make him a true man, who can oppose it, he should throw all his degrees in the garbage and go for lower standards again. Anyways, here let’s have a look at the factors that encourage and give fire to the problems of dowry system.
- First and foremost comesthe greed from groom family. They educated their son and now they want double of money what they have spent in his studies. That’s why the price tag of a groom is now bolder and bigger.
- Society status is also a major factor. They think if they get a huge amount of money as a dowry, people will perceive their son more desired and talented. They need to show off every time.
- The poor mentality is another factor. In most of the cases, groom family thinks that they’re the groom side and they have every right on bride’s family.
- Gender inequality is the most important cause of dowry system. Some people have double standards. They think boys are superior to girls.
- Sometimes, religion also plays a big role in dowry system. The marriages within same religion and same caste deplete the pool of eligible boys that eventually leads groom side to demand high dowry from bride’s family.
Effects of dowry system on society:
Well, this list will go endlessly if try to pen down every single effect of dowry system on society. So here, I’m mentioning just the vital and hazardous ones-
- Violence against women is increasing rapidly. Unnumbered of girls are being killed every day just because their in-laws couldn’t get the enough dowry.
- It is apparently an injustice towards the women and an encouragement to gender inequality.
- Sometimes, girls are treated like an animal and they are tortured to the death. Means, humanity is dead.
- A huge economic burden on the bride’s family. Every father wants a good match for his daughter but for this, he has to pay a massive amount of money.
- The woman, who used to be considered the pivot of society, feels today inferior herself in every way. Her self-esteem and confidence are lost. Her happiness is snatched.
- Dowry system also leads the incompatibility in the relationship. If bride fulfills the dowry, she dominates and if she fails the man persecutes.
- Most importantly, Dowry system gives birth to ‘Female Feticide’. To evade the burden of dowry, people kill girl child even before the birth.
Dowry system in Indian constitution:
In India, dowry system and its problems have gone to the extreme extent. It has crossed all the boundaries of provinces, religion, caste, education, humanity and has become a center core of a marriage between two souls. Indian government tried to rein in the dowry system in 1961 by constituting a ‘The Dowry Prohibition Act’. The purpose of this act was to eradicate the menace of dowry system.
According to law, demanding for dowry is a criminal act and the one who is committing this crime can get imprisonment of 5 years and minimum Rs. 15000 of fine. The law further adds if a bride is committing suicide within 7 years of marriage, the entire family of her husband can be imprisoned.
Other than this, many other laws have been enacted to prohibit the dowry system and injustice against women. But none turned out to be very effective. Despite every stigma, this crime is intensifying day by day. Today, the conviction rate of dowry is about 34% in the country.
Dowry- an anti-social element:
In the modern era, dowry is the worst and major anti-social element which hollows the society like a termite. The groom family demands a huge amount of money and put the bride family between devil and deep sea. They can’t call off the wedding at the last moment because it would bring infamy to the girl.
So they don’t have any other way than accepting all the conditions of groom family. They somehow manage to pay the amount but the story doesn’t end here. Even after marriage, groom family’s unquenchable thirst for dowry doesn’t die. They keep torturing her.
Today, myriad of girls are the victims of dowry. Their fathers educate them so that they can be independent but they are unable to come out of the clutches of dowry. They’re mentally, physically and sexually tortured.
Steps to be taken to control the dowry:
There are a bunch of steps to deal with this problems of dowry system. Now, a man should muster up the courage to fight with this problem. Where there is a will there is a way. Dowry system has clutched the Indian society so entrenched that it can’t be wiped out easily. Let’s see some implementable points to control the dowry.
- Only laws and commandments can’t do anything. Laws have been executed but do anyone really adhere them? Obviously no. So, the government should be strict against the criminal of dowry andset a harsh punishment for him.
- Youths are the backbone of any country. They should take some big steps. It’s the groom who needs to oppose the dowry practice. He should understand that marriage is not a trade.
- The society urgently needs to change the mindset. This orthodox kind of mentality against the iniquitous custom of dowry should be changed.
- Women empowerment and women education can’t control dowry system in major forms but can make the girl fightcourageously against it.
- Girls should not be kept within the four walls of the house. People should let them face the world and solve their problems on their own. This will boost their confidence level.
The essay on dowry system will never end but let’s bring it to an end here. Today, dowry system is undoubtedly one of the worst and major crimes in India. And the miserable thing is that the whole society is involved in this. People spend one-fourth of their life to be called educated. And after being educated, they commit this crime happily. How sad and atrocious it is that an educated man, the one who should strive to wipe it out, is the sole reason for it. On one hand, we brag gender equality, on other hand, girls are being traded. And this trade has been given a beautiful term so-called dowry. Being a girl, I request to all educated gentlemen out there please come together and let’s do something to eradicate this evil.