By: Zubair Hamid Parray
he Dowry system that was initiated as a decent practice to help the girls financially as they took on the new phase of their life has gradually turned evil. Just as child marriage, child labour, caste system and gender inequality, dowry system is also one of the evil social systems that needs to be eradicated for the society to prosper. However, unfortunately despite the efforts made by the government as well as various social groups, this heinous system is still very much a part of the society.
The question remains that even after making dowry a punishable offense and spreading awareness about the ill-effects of this system through several campaigns, why do people still practice it? Here are some of the main reasons why the dowry system remains intact despite being condemned by the masses:
The system of the bride’s family giving gifts to the groom and his family in the form of jewellery, cash, clothes, property, furniture and other assets has been practiced for decades. It has been given the name of tradition in various parts of the country and when the occasion is as pious as a wedding, people cannot dare to neglect any tradition. People are following it blindly even though it is a burden for the bride’s family in majority of the cases.
For some, the dowry system is more of a status symbol. The bigger car they give and the greater amount of cash they give to the groom’s family the more it boosts the status of both the families. Hence, even though they cannot afford it, many families end up throwing lavish wedding functions and giving numerous gifts to the groom and his relatives. It has become more of a competition these days. Everyone wants to beat the other.
While the government has made dowry a punishable offence, the law has not been implemented strictly. There is no check on the exchange of gifts and dowry given during marriages. These loopholes are one of the main reasons why this evil practice still exists.
Apart from these, gender inequality and illiteracy are also major contributors to this heinous social system.
Dowry deaths have become common occurrences in our country. It happens in all families, rich or poor, educated or uneducated. This reflects the unhealthy condition of our society. The system of giving in kind or in cash in ancient times to the groom out of love by the rich has become a compulsory one. The Dowry system has grown to gigantic levels which consume the life of innocent women.
Our government has enforced an anti-dowry act. This step would check this evil to some extent. But unless and until the people realise its ill-effects sincerely, this will prevail. The root cause of it is desire for money and the attitude of TIT FOR TAT tendency. We would have heard of people saying. “I gave dowry to my daughter and got it back through my son”.
Every young man and woman should not encourage their parents for it. They should wage a peaceful war to root it out and educate them. The answer to this evil is in the hands of the younger generation. The first step against this social curse is removing the sex-bias. People should realize that women are important members of society.
It is sad how even after completely understanding the ill effects of the dowry system people in India still continue to practice it. It is time people in the country should join hands to eradicate this problem.
Author is Pursuing Bachelor’s in English Literature and Linguistics at Government Degree College, Sumbal. He can be mailed at email@example.com