BY ANJALI SINGH
Are marriages a business deal? Why do most people get sad when a girl is born? Dowry in India is just another pandemic we’ve been facing since ages. Women are tortured, threatened, harassed for not bringing enough in dowry.
Although dowry has been illegal in India since 1961 yet it is a common practice even in the 21st century. The threatening reality of India is the reason behind most domestic violence women of color face.
The Indian National Crime Record Bureau reports that India has the highest rate of dowry-related deaths worldwide, according to 2020 statistics one woman is killed by dowry every hour. It’s a matter of shame for all of us.
Dowry System In 21st Century
What is dowry? Why is it so common in Indian traditional marriages? The dowry system is what makes every brown woman feel like a burden. It reinforces the idea that the girl’s family should provide gold, money, cars, homes, and other material goods to the boy’s family as a means to take care of their daughter.
This has been a tradition in India for centuries, and this notion needs to end. This lowers the girl’s value in the eyes of society as she is viewed as nothing more than a possession. Because of dowry, sons are seen as an asset and daughters as liabilities. The irony is that people expect to have a boy child from a woman and if a girl is born they practice female foeticide before she could become a woman.
In the 21st century, to make dowry sound less illegitimate it is called “a gift to daughters”. New age drama calls dowry as “sagaan”, we all take it and give it without realizing its a form of dowry. Not only in rural areas but cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Bangalore, and the state Kerala which has the maximum literacy rate and is called “God’s Own Country” tops in dowry-related cases.
Where does education go at the time of dowry?
We Are Failing Women Empowerment
I remember writing essays on ”Women Empowerment” in school as this was our most common topic for essay competitions but was this topic meant for writing essays only?
In the name of tradition, we’re failing women’s empowerment. Before marriage, we’re told that one day you’ll go to your house and after marriage women of color often hear “this is not your mother’s home” then where do we really belong?
I’ve grown up hearing girls are “paraya dhan”in TV serials and from pados wali aunties. I still wonder what it really means. In 2015 our honorable PM launched a scheme called “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” which is meant to spread awareness about the importance of women’s education. It also provides awareness on financial independence and safety. It aimed to eradicate sex discrimination in this patriarchal society.
Only if people would’ve taken this seriously and spent money on their daughter’s education . But instead they still continue to save it for dowry things would be better. Education given to boys dies at the time of marriage. The greed of dowry is eating up so called educated minds.
We need to keep raising questions about the system of dowry. What is this system meant for ?
Is it to provide us appliances and jewellery to maintain our positions in a groom’s family. What will the men bring then ?
If your eyes catch this article, I request you to share it widely to drive conversations that will challenge and change the system.