This is a fabulous essay on dowry that I was reading yesterday

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The dowry system is a disgrace to our great culture. A law against giving or taking dowry very much exists on paper, but it is flouted openly and with impunity. Every day we read in the news­papers numerous cases of harassment, torture and bride-burning for dowry. Arranged marriages have become a source of making money.

Bride-grooms are openly sold in the market. The rich show off their wealth at the time of the marriage of their daughters. Ostentation is a matter of prestige for them. But the plight of poor parents is miserable. If a daughter is born, the whole family is plunged into gloom.

The long and agonizing worry of marrying off the daughter starts. The parents realize that even their life-long savings cannot ensure a happy marriage of their unfortunate daughter. Initially the custom of giving dowry must have been a device to help the newly married couple. Later on, greedy people managed to get social and religious sanction for it and began to misuse it.

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Today, it has assumed monstrous proportions. The evil can be rooted out only if there is social awakening. Girls should be given high education and made economically self-sufficient. Inter-caste marriages should be encouraged. All loop-holes in the Anti-dowry law should be plugged and the criminals who per-pet rate and perpetuate the dowry-related crimes should be awarded exemplary punishment. Above all, it is the young men who can bring about a revolution by refusing to be a party to such crimes.

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