Written By:Chowdhary Rabiya Shafiq
Dowry system is as old as man is. This social evil is prevalent in all parts of India and almost in all the countries of the world. In India many of the traditional customs of dowry has not only continued but flourished over the years. It has become an integral part of the marriage- institution and is generally accepted by the society as a necessary evil.
In most of the cases the amount to be given as dowry is discussed and settled before the marriage takes place. With the change of times the contents of dowry have also undergone a sea change. The boy’s parents openly demand items like car, double door refrigerator, washing machine, LED (TV) etc. The scale of dowry varies according to the status of the bridegroom. In fact, regular marriage without dowry is unthinkable, under the present circumstances. Hardly there is a day when one does not read about the dowry deaths in the newspaper or social media. Brides managing less than the expected dowry are ill-treated by their in-laws and other relatives. Many of them cannot bear the torments and commit suicide. The rest of them are burned alive by their husbands and the in-laws.
Now and then voices have been raised against the evil custom. The social reformers like M.K. Gandhi, Swami Dayanand, tried their best to create social consciousness against this practice. Also the dowry prohibition Act was passed in 1961, but it has not made any difference. Laws never succeed in eradication social evils. Social awakening is required to achieve such goals.
Now a day’s several women organizations have come into being in order to check this evil. Even our young boys and girls are taking oaths not to follow this evil custom. State governments are also coming forward with better legislation. Much has been done but much more needs to be done. Though there is marked effect of this movement but still people have not given it up totally. They have started secret deals. Total eradication of dowry system is possible only when the mentality of the people changes. Young boys and girls should not come under the pressure of parents. Educational institution should organize programs against the dowry system. Even children should be made to read stories dealing with ill-effects of dowry. It should be installed in the minds of every young men and women that to give or to take the dowry is a crime. Hence, the evil can be removed and eliminated only through social awakening and reform. But in the mean time the law and judicial system must provide some solace and extend all possible help to those who wish to resist the pernicious manifestation of the dowry system. …!!!
CHOWDHARY RABIYA SHAFIQ : The author is a first female Journalist, Social Activist and Entreprenuer from Peer Panjal Region who is a founder member of Valley Online, also running Taja Coachings and Northern Defence Academy in Rajouri district. For her Reports from far flung areas of Union Territory of J&K 'Video Volunteers' in 2017 awarded her Best MoJo (Mobile Journalism) Video Award and 'National Federation of Christain Women Trust' in 2019 awarded her Salute Award for her work in the field of Journalism. She has done tremendous and commendable job for the society since 2012. You can come in contact with her email@example.com