The dowry system is an age old system and a peculiar phenomenon of the Indian society. It is, as today, a curse to the society.
Dowry is the name given to all that, the parents of a girl give to her when she gets married. At the face of it, the system seems quite appropriate, healthy and logical, for, in this simple way, the parents of the girl help her in setting a new home. So far, so good and, originally also the purpose of dowry was very justified and understandable.
Let us now analyze how and why this system took birth at all? In the earlier times of Indian society, the daughter had no share in the father’s property so, by way of dowry the girl would get at least some portion of her share.
Besides this, in those days, the girls were not educated so, this dowry could serve the girl as a back up support system in case of any emergency after her marriage. Seeing this as the ground reality and the reason for the system for having taken birth, no right thinking people would call the system wrong or unjustified.
However, with the passage of time this same fine system has taken the ugly shape of begging for dowry, bargaining for dowry, auctioning the boy to the highest bidder and finally suicides. This is because, taking advantage of the system, the parents of the boys, have started demanding dowry.
This was never done in the original shape of the system. The girl’s parents would give whatever they could and, there would be NO – yes, NO demands from the boy’s side. Besides demanding items of dowry, now parents of the boy’s family keep items of the dowry for their own use.
This was also not in the original system for, whatever was given was for the girl only – and never for the boy’s family. These two additions in the original system have converted the blessing for the girl into a curse for her.
The parents who cannot afford to meet the demands of the boy’s family are forced either into taking loans that they can never return, or use unfair means of corruption to make money to meet the demanded expenses. In turn, this has led to even committing suicides by the girls or murders of girls by the in-laws.
At times even before the marriage, the girl is led to kill herself to save her parents from the trauma of collecting money for her marriage.
Thus, we see that, a system that was at one time very wise and discreet, has taken an ugly shape just because of the greed of men and women in to-day’s world.
This system of dowry has become a slur on the Indian society. Besides being a shame, in to-day’s scenario, the system as it was even in the initial stages of its existence, has become quite irrelevant. This is because, both the reasons for its birth are now not in vogue.
These days, girls are usually educated and can earn a livelihood if need arises, and, they now also have a share, an equal share as the brothers have in the father’s property.
That means the necessity of the girl having an amount to reach out in the days of crisis or emergency does not hold good any more.
So, when the very basis of the system does not exist, the system should be scrapped altogether. This is because, the system instead of bringing solace, only generates greed and even crime in several cases.
My view is that, the system as it exists should be put to an end and all those who indulge in it should be punished severely.