WHEN I was a child, I used to hear a lot about dowry. I think it is the first thing,I as a child, understood about the difficulties a woman has to face in her life. In films I saw the incidents where a woman was murdered in what seems to be an accident blasting the kerosene stove (and the kerosene stove used to remind me about dowry for a long time), mother-in-law ( the cliched villain in every marriage!) torturing the daughter-in-law, and so on. I never knew that other members of the in law family can also torture the girl. So for the childhood knowledge. As I grew up, I felt that women were becoming more free and less tortured. With passing years, I understood that my notion was completely wrong. But that is the main issue, of which dowry is a part of. Atleast I wasn't hearing or reading many of the dowry related incidents. But the reports about almost three incidents, (mainly two incidents within a span of roughly one month) have made the writing of this post inevitable.
The first incident is in which a girl jumped out of the window of the kitchen while a serious discussion (argument) was going on between her parents and in laws about settling the dowry related issue. Her sister in law is said to have been present in the kitchen while the incident took place.
The second issue is in today's paper. A husband adopting all kinds of low level tricks on his wife to make her bring more and more dowry.Like putting hair remover in hair conditioner, detergent in the atta for roti and making her to eat it, trying to suffocate her, pouring water on the bed while she is asleep and so on. Torture started right after marrriage, though he is said to have displayed love and affection before it (obviously, otherwise how was he going to get dowry?)
These are two issues. As per cited in wikipedia: " According to Indian police, every year it receives over 2,500 reports of bride-burning."
And I got form a website that in every hour atleast 4 women die because of dowry related issues.I'm not going to tell the statisctics and all that, even one dowry death or torture is nasty enough.My question is, why do they continue, or why do they occur even in this 21st century, where people are supposed to have advanced more in terms of education? (Well in a world where even education itself has become a business, it doesn't matter whether the torturers are educated or not.)
Let me ask one thing, why do people need dowry? Do the "well educated, handsome,eligible, "desirable (especially)", precious" bachelors think that marriage is a short cut to money making and comfort.
"I have the right to get free money only because I am a "man". It doesn't matter whom I marry, she should be a treasure box. With the money she brings home, I can live comfortably my whole life. Her parents? Phoo, a bunch of foolish old nutters, who ought to pay me the money I demand because I'm her "husband" and the dominating "king" of my marriage. Actually I'm doing them a favouor by marrying their good for nothing daughter. I should have been married to some, slim, sexy, rich beauty, but look what I got. I need compensation. I need payment for taking this burden called your daughter!"
And, unfortunately our parents think that the daughter is of course a burden! A daughter who is above 25 years of age is undesirable, for she is a going to rot "item" in the marriage market, she is forced to marry within 25 years of age in the name of producing healthy offsprings and for her own health ; but better put it this way, it means, a girl who is above 25 is like a more than ripe vegetable, people enjoy tender vegetables, so to ensure that you are loved and cared, you have to get married when you can charm somebody with your body! And it doesn't matter, what amount the groom asks ( giving and taking dowry is illegal, but it appears in the form of gifts to daughters, kilograms of gold ornaments, car, property and so on), the parents are willing to give any amount he demands only because it is shameful to have an unmarried daughter above 25 years of age! It doesn't matter whether the groom is able to feed her or not, or if he is able to earn on his own. Think, why would a person demand money from the girls side, if he can earn well? It is an indirect indication of the fact that he is basically inefficient and has not really come of age or understood anything about being a real "man". Such boys are shameless fellows who nurture the secret wish to enjoy life without working hard on their own, and damned be his relatives who never teach him to be a good person.
The business doesn't end there. Suppose there is a son and daughter in the family. The family will either conduct the daughter's marriage early giving a huge amount of dowry, and demand the same amount ( but usually more ) as dowry for their son! Balanced equation. But, in a family with unequal number of sons and daughters, what will happen? Think for yourselves. Think about a family with daughters only and which is not basically rich. Is it surprising why people kill girl children? ( So it can be basically put that inefficient and greedy people are responsible for all atrocities against women; greedy for money, greedy for body, greedy for dominance). And if the son goes for a love marriage, out of community, Dhimm! (Ellam theernnu) Everything is over. "Since she is out of community and has lured my son, she should pay the penalty to stay with him,in the form of money ( otherwise dowry ) or I'll treat her like slave." (Read the story of Radhika in 'One night at the call centre.')
But leave the in laws for a while, the main villain is the husband. If he can't protect and respect his wife, why did he marry her at all? Does he think that marriage is a foolproof way to gain money, a sexual relation, and an easy way to find an unpaid servant for the household where he can treat his "wife" like anything? So girls, if you find that you are being tortured or if you even get a wave of a torture taking shape in your family life, better divorce as soon as possible. Some say, the matter can be settled in the court and can return to the marriage. But what if they are laying a trap planning to revenge on you pretending to repent? Your own life (jeevan) is more important than a stupid husband, and a family life. There is no need to tolerate a good for nothing fellow and some stupid people related to him.
I forgot to mention a point here.There are some parents who try to "buy" a husband for their daughters. Like they'll choose the groom from a family which is financially lower than them, obviously hoping that they can control their son-in-law merely by the power of their money. Mind it, you are adding a crime to the society.Money should not be the main basis of a family life. Sati, Savitri ideas need cooperative and loving husbands also.
Girls please note this, never agree to marry a person who asks for dowry inorder to marry. You are not a burden. You should be aware of your own power. A society will become extinct without women. So you are not good for nothing fellows. Infact women are much much more complicated than men, in build and all other aspects.
Boys please don't degrade yourselves by doing stupid things to your wife or the girl whom you want to marry. If you love your mother well you will understand. Will you tolerate it if somebody tortures your mother the way you torture your wife?
One word to the greedy people who care for money and money only. You are basically human, and when you die, you are not going to take all these with you. And if you can't resist being that much greedy, why don't you fix the marriage of your son with "The Reserve Bank of India"?