Dowry in India : A Malevolence in the Society

India is known for its culture and heritage, however, sadly enough,India has some stained customary rituals which depict a dark image of the nation. Dowry system is one such entrenched social evil prevalent in the nation. Dowry is the sum given in cash or in kind by the bride’s kin to the bridegroom’s kin besides giving away of the bride known as Kanyadaan in Indian marriage.  Kanyadanam is an imperative part of  Hindu nuptial rites. Kanya means daughter, and dana means gift. Dowry or more well-known as Dahej, is an age old custom inIndia, practiced originally by the people of the upper caste. It was given as a token of love or rather as a wedding gift to the bride from her family. It was later on given to aid with wedding expenses and turned out to be a type of indemnity lest that the in-laws battered the bride.

Marriage has been always regarded as a sacred and holy ritual in the Indian society.  However, the dismay of the dowry system has made this ritual an apprehensive institution. The stealthy atmosphere of dowry begins when this sacred tie have taken a commercial slant. The groom’s vicar persists to put forth a string of demands before the bride’s vicar. He stalwartly avows that these demands must be satisfied prior to the commencement of marriage, or else, on no account he shall give his consent to the marriage. The demands include refrigerator, color television, motor bike or car, knick-knacks of pure gold of substantial quantity, money and plots of land in the center vicinity. In some cases bride grooms demand cash for their education and for constructing buildings. It is shameful that the Bride grooms to a certain extent are procured as viable commodity.

Dowry system is a slur to the Indian society which has been in all times regarded and respected as the most cultured society around the globe. It diminishes the position of both man and woman. Scores of erudite men demand dowry, slurring the education and culture of the nation. Most of the well-cultured, beautiful and eligible girls remain unmarried as their families cannot meet the demands of dowry due to economic disparity. The practice of dowry abuse is mounting at a rapid rate inIndia.  The most severe is “bride burning”, the burning of women whose dowries were not deemed enough by their husband or in-laws.  The majorities of these unpleasant incidents are testimony as fortuitous burns in the kitchen or are camouflaged as suicide.  It is apparent that there subsists deep rooted chauvinism against women inIndia. Cultural practices such as the sum of dowry tend to lower women in Indian society.

Nevertheless, the Government has stepped forward in making laws for prohibition of dowry. The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 has been made to prohibit people from giving and taking of dowry which is punishable under the court of law either with fine amounting to Rs. 15,000 or with imprisonment which shall not be less then 5 years or with both. Though these laws are made, it is not put into proper practice and it continues to be heating up day by day. Media can play a vital role in curbing this deep rooted social evil from the society. People should be more vigilant and should protest against this evil that is practiced in most part of India. It is an earnest request to the Government to be more vigilant by appointing agents to investigate and lending a hand in uprooting this deep rooted social evil and reducing the crime against the women folk.

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