Tue. Dec 10th, 2019

Dowry: A Social Evil

Syed Vakas Bukhari

Dowry is a social evil in the society, that has caused unimaginable tortures and crimes towards women. The evil has taken lives of women from all stratas of society – be it poor, middle class or the rich. However it is the poor who succumb and fall prey to it, more due to their lack of awareness and education. It is because of the dowry system, that daughters are not valued as much as the sons. In the society, many a times it has been seen that they are seen as a liability and are often subjected to subjugation and are given second hand treatment may it be in education or other amenities. Today the government has come up with many laws and reforms, not only to eradicate the dowry system, but also to uplift the status of the girl child by bringing in many schemes. It is now for the society at large to become aware and understand the situation. It up to all of us to take active steps in bringing about the necessary change and stop either giving or taking dowry. We must all know that we should start valuing our daughters first, so that others know their value once they grow up. THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC FACTORS THAT AFFECT THE MARRIED LIFE OF A WOMAN. Dowry is associated with women’s education and age it is also a cause of divorce both in urban and rural areas of Jammu and Kashmir.. The dowry entails giving a huge amount of cash, jewelry and other gifts to groom’s family by the bride’s parents as a condition at the time of marriage. The system was put in place due to a reason in India and that was until a few decades back. The girl child didn’t have any right over the parental property and other fixed assets and was given liquid assets such as cash, jewelry and other goods to given her a fair share. However it has turned out as an evil social system over the years, the wealth and property that parents intend to give her daughters as a part of the dowry so that she can be self sufficient at the new place, is unfortunate. In most of the cases all that is taken by the groom’s family. Besides, while earlier this was a voluntary decision of the bride’s parents it has become more of an obligation for them nowadays. Many cases of brides being tortured physically, emotionally and also mentally for not bringing
enough dowries have come up. Sometimes bride turns her family to meet the demands of hr in-laws while others end up giving their lives to end the torture. It is offence, of dowry in to the married woman which includes dowry related, violence and abuse, bride burning, wife murder, and female infanticide, constitute some of the mostly highly detrimental ills. These are the many cases of suicide due to the ill treatment of the groom’s family perpetrated against married woman.
The provisions and Acts against dowry in the Indian legal code are in effective. But in present scenario it has become one of the biggest evils of the society. Perhaps this is the reason that marriages for millions of families have become a financial burden. Daughters are not welcomed by most of the Kashmiri’s. Not only by the Kashmiri’s family but also by the Indianfamily. If a family has more than one daughter, it means it will hardly come out of the debt. This happens because the bride’s family has to provide the most lavish wedding for their daughter.
Nowadays the size of dowry depends on much education the groom has and what is his income and social status, this matters because the most education and income the has bigger dowry he can ask for. In such situations if a girl’s father has much money then there is no problem, the girl will get a suitable match and same problem regarding the father who is not earning much he finds it difficult to give a suitable match to his daughter. It is the duty to all enlightened citizens of our country to fight out this evil. Every individual / person must to ride our society of this curse. In this regard the youths of the society can become the main role part for removing this custom in our society. They should come forward and start a massive campaign for rejecting and social boycotting the people from accepting the dowry. If it is not done, serious consequences are likely to affect our society. It fills our heart to think that there are such cruel people living in our Kashmir society. They are not human beings but killers. In order to curb this practice of dowry it is prohibited in law for both asking as well as giving of dowry as a punishable crime for which the punishment is given under the dowry prohibition Act and also gives an imprisonment for a term up to 6 months and fine of rupees 5 thousand.. According to section 3 of the prohibition Act, for restraining the practice of dowry prescribes a punishment minimum imprisonment of 5 years and 15 thousand of fines for giving and taking of dowry. It is very little punishment for the dowry demanders it should be increased so that this evil remains no root in our society. Hence education and independence is one powerful and valuable gift that you can give to your daughter. This will in turn help her to be financially sound and be a contributing member of the family, giving her respect and right status in the family. So Providing your daughter with a solid education, and encouraging her to pursue a career of her choice is the best dowry any parent can ever give their daughter.

(The author is a freelancer.Views are his own, wakas0007@gmail.com)

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