Dowry. One simple word, simple yet dangerous. A word that has ruined many many lives time and again. A word that makes people shudder. A word that has given a new meaning to marriage, ruining the sanctity of the whole idea of a marriage. Though it’s initial use was to provide security to the daughter in a situation where she might need it. But it has taken an ugly turn, now a days it is used to satisfy the greed of people. It has made the holy system of marriage into a transaction where you give money to get your daughter married and her happiness in her future life depends on how much dowry you can give. The first thing that come in the mind of the father of a newly born girl. Something that started off as a token of love has now become a cruel custom. A compulsory custom. A silent yet understood rule. A way of measuring the groom and the bride.
A custom which started because parents wanted their daughters to have some basic things with her when she went to her in laws place and so that she did not have to borrow anything from there on the first day itself. It has now become a feared custom, where the grooms parents demand certain things from the bride’s parents. And these things are determined by the groom and bride too.determined by them doesn’t mean that they have a say, it means the amount if dowry to be given depends on what the girls is like, if there is something about her the groom’s family doesn’t like, then the dowry to be paid has to be more. Also if the groom is very we’ll read, that too increases the amount of dowry.
This has become a system of measuring people in terms of money and putting a price on them. Using money to compensate someone’s faults, to fill in for something a person lacks. The entire idea of this custom is sick and disgusting now. And this is not just in the uneducated or the rural families, this happens even in the most elite and sophisticated families one can imagine.
It does not even end there, it is the root cause of so many crimes against women. This has led to an increase in the crime against women. There have been cases when women have been burnt alive, beaten up, physically and mentally tortured. Is cases where the girl’s family is not able to meet the demands of the boy’s family, it is taken out on the girl. The girl is first forced to get more money or assets from her family and if she does not comply, she is subjected to all kinds of torture. And in such cases even the husband, the one person she trusts and hopes will be at her side, is also a part of her beatings. He might not just beat her up but also sexually harass them and break them from inside.
Or sometimes the family’s greed increases and they want more and more from the girl. There is no way to satisfy their greed and because of this the innocent girl suffers. A marriage a relation from which the girl expects love and trust and a new happy life is nothing like she imagines and is full or greed and harassment than love and support.
And the women in such conditions cannot do anything about it, after sometime even her parents give up and she is left all alone to deal with such situations. And more than often it ends up in the girl either being burnt alive or put in a similar situation or the girl ends up killing herself because she cannot take more f this torture and want to put an end to it.
Though there are laws to protect women from such torture and suffering, but for them to be protected they have to to tell people about it. Generally such crimes are not reported until something very extreme takes place. This should not happen and they have to complain against it. They cannot and should not sit quietly and bear all of this. Women need to stop bearing this and take a stand. We need to empower women and make them feel they they are not alone in this. There is someone to support them who will help them fight against such crimes. There are women NGOs working for this cause. Helping women stuck in such situations medically, legally and also mentally. They help
these women to overcome their trauma and fight against the injustice done to them. We need to put an end to such a heinous custom. We all as women should refuse to give dowry or take if we have a guy in the family getting married. And moreover if we get to know of such a situation we should report it as soon as possible because people may think it is an innocent exchange and even if you are giving it willingly it is still not right an you might never know when this innocent exchange might turn out to be the worst decision of your life.