Dowry refers to all the gifts and valuables which are given to a bride by her parents for starting her new life. But this social custom has transformed itself to a social evil. Rather than optional gifts, the groom side takes as their right to have dowry. They feel it more a mandatory thing.
The government is taking a strict action against the culprits. It has also made several laws which give a severe punishment to the dowry seekers. We have not been able to remove it completely from the society but still we have been able to reduce it to some extent.
In a misogynist society like ours, women are still struggling to secure a respectable place in the society. In the male dominating society like ours, women are still considered as unwanted.
The bride is treated as a hen laying a golden egg and the groom side tortures her emotionally as well as physically so as to more money, cash or gifts from her paternal house.
To satisfy the greed, the in-laws have even beaten their daughter in law many times. There are several reasons behind this dowry system.
Reasons of Dowry System
- Gender Biasing: Gender favoritism has been prevalent in our country from time immemorial. People prefer boys more than girls. Even in some areas infant girl are killed or murdered in want for a baby boy. People prefer boys more than girls because boy is considered to increase the family. On the other hand a girl is considered as a burden as they have to give her a lot for her dowry.
- Status of Women: The status of women has always a state of question. In the cities the status is improving while on the other hand in villages, women are still considered lower than of boys. She is forced to live a dedicated life. An unmarried girl is considered bad for the society and family. People force her and taunt her to get married. From the early childhood, she is sent to the kitchen to do all the kitchen and household works.
- Child marriage: Child marriage certainly contributes to this social evil in the society. The girl child falling prey to the child marriage is not mature enough to understand the responsibilities of the family. She is just a child who has lost her childhood in marriage.
- Gender Equality: There must be an awareness created among the people regarding the gender equality. Many NGO’s have already taken this responsibility and are education people in forms of plays, dramas, road shown and nukkad nataks. It must be made clear that every child is a god’s gift and we must take care of the baby. This shameful in some villages that even the mothers starts biasing their own children.
- Empowerment of Women: The only means to attain this to get the girl child educated. They should be treated beyond the concept of marriage. It should be made clear that they can stand on their own feet by earning money and going independent. Girls and boys are equal and they can stand shoulder to shoulder with each other. Girls should be educated so that they can fulfill their dreams and bot only just sit in home and become limited to house wife only.
- Acts by Government: According to sec 30-B of Indian Penal Code, if a women is dead within seven years of her marriage and is caused by any bodily injuries or burns (other than natural circumstances), will be considered as “dowry death” and husband/ relatives are considered guilty for that.
- Awareness among the lower class: The lower class or the people residing in the villages must be made aware not to marry their daughter in a dowry hunter family. The girl child should be given all the rights and freedom which a boy enjoys. She should be encouraged to achieve her dreams rather than becoming a victim of child marriage.
- Ban on gender detection and female infoeticide: This step has already been taken by the government. Any person seeking for gender detection or any doctor doing that is considered a defaulter and is imprisoned. Government has made strict laws against abortion as well.
- Marriage Age: Government has decided the age limit for marriage. For girls it is 18 years and for boys it is 21 years.
We all as responsible citizens of the society must join hands in eradicating this social evil from the society. And let us make it so beautiful which has equality for both girls and boys.