Dowry? What dowry???
Hello Athenas! I know, I know. It’s been a long time, but chill, here I am now. Something I came across recently caused me to write this. Some people, whether it’s through plain ignorance or pure malevolence, (doesn’t matter) are claiming that most of the reported dowry harassment cases are either false or over-exaggerated. Now this statement is downright ridiculous that instead of annoying me, it made me laugh my lungs out. Hysterical reaction perhaps? Maybe…
Seriously though, after my laughter had subsided, the anger and indignation set in. Okay, I agree that SOME people use anti-dowry laws to their advantage and make innocent spouses and in-laws suffer for whatever reason, but the majority of dowry harassment cases are NOT fabricated, nor are they figments of over-active imaginations.
Despite strict anti-dowry laws and a gazillion awareness campaigns against the practice of dowry, it’s still very much a menace. A few months back, a lady who worked as a maid in a nearby school was seen collecting donations from my neighbors for her daughter’s wedding. When we asked her why exactly she needed donations, she told us that the boy’s parents were demanding 10 sovereigns of gold as dowry, which she didn’t have. Some of us in the neighborhood gave her what we could. Well, me being the big mouth that I am didn’t stop with that. I told the lady that she should have taken a stand and refused to consider such a proposal the instant dowry was demanded. Fat lot of good it did me, though. The neighbors as usual labeled me an impractical big mouth who always wants to swim against the tide.
No problem with all the labeling. But any man who expects the bride to bring so-and-so things in order to get married, cannot be considered a real man,. (no offense all you men out there) And contrary to what we may be tempted to believe, the practice of demanding dowry is far from dead in India.
So what can be done to cut this off at the knees? More awareness campaigns? Stricter anti-dowry laws? No, we need look no further than ourselves to bring this abominable practice to a screeching halt, dear Athenas. All we need to do is rise as one, put down our foot firmly and simply REFUSE to even give the time of day to any prospective groom and / or his family who even breathes about dowry. Enough is enough. We don’t have to be on the receiving end anymore. It’s our fight and it’s up to us to take the offensive.
NO. It’s a simple 2-letter word. But saying it with courage and conviction has the potential to abolish this despicable practice which has snatched away the lives or ruined the mental peace of millions of Indian women, once and for all. If this happens, the term dowry would exist only within the pages of a dictionary.
The dowry problem has been there since ages but unless we women buck up and join forces there is no way we are going to say good bye to this social evil. Read more and see the whole picture Marriages – Made in heaven?, Muslim wedding flight– this is an entire site dedicated to just people understanding the evil effects of dowry and She sells sea shells, not her.