The question that was asked to a father fixing the date of his daughters wedding. Not how many guests were coming, not how much food to be ordered, no. How much money a father was willing to give for his daughter…
Dowry, that dirty word, entrenched in the male dominated Indian society, has reached alarming proportions today. And scarily enough, it is not restricted to a specific section of society.
It is everywhere. Educated families argue that it is their right to ask for dowry, given the fact that they have big strapping boys who can take care of the girls. Well if they are so great, why would they want the money in the first place?
Dowry began as a custom to ensure a young married couple had the capital to build their lives. But in todays world, where most couples get married after the groom is already well settled, it makes even lesser sense to continue with this preposterous tradition.
If there is such a dire need for money, there is the option of the woman working and bringing in the extra income. Why resort to a medieval custom to load the pockets.
And just because, biology delivered a boy to your household, how does that justify your taking money. Isn’t that like purchasing a reproducing, sexual partner for your son?
It does not stop with the ‘gifts’ that come during the wedding. It escalates into demands of ever increasing proportions. And a failure to meet with these demands results in mysterious fires or accidents. There is one dowry death in every four hours in India.
I had always imagined that these things happen to people who are ignorant and illiterate. But I saw my uber cool friend and her affluent family put through this very same practice.
Yes, her folks said no. But they did not report the incident to the police. According to Indian law, since 1961, the taking or giving of dowry is illegal.But the number of dowry deaths have gone on increasing, clearly indicating that the practice is still rampant.
Only when we become part of the problems of society do we realise the magnitude of the problem. Never for once think that such things cannot happen to you.
Be on your guard, my female Indian friends. We do not want to be sold…