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.
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.