Upasana Pattanayak

Abstract Inspirational Others


Upasana Pattanayak

Abstract Inspirational Others

Dowry is a demon

Dowry is a demon

10 mins

Dowry refers to the gifts given by a father or guardian to his daughter at the time of her marriage. The bride's parents have to give gifts to the groom and his parents. As such, it is known as dowry. In ancient times, it was given as a kind of assistance to newly-weds to set up their own home.

"Relationships are made with the heart, not with the money." - Upasana Pattanayak.

Those gifts were given voluntarily and under pressure without any demand. About a hundred years ago, there was a custom that the future wife used to present gifts to the father of her future groom. But now this custom has been transformed into the Dowry-"Dahej" custom due to the ill-thoughts of many people.

"The father would not have feared anything, if the dowry system would not have happened." - Upasana Pattanayak.

"Dowry is not a business, it is a weapon of greedy people." - Upasana Pattanayak.

Most of the people are following the dowry system even these days which is now being done by giving domestic goods instead of cash. Now, this practice has become a social evil. It has become very difficult to get a girl married without dowry. Now this practice is becoming the cause of many evils in a society.  

Dowry system is one of the biggest social evils these days in which hundreds of innocent women have lost their lives. To stop the transaction of dowry in our country, many big crop laws were made, violating which is a punishable offense. Still, the dowry system is very much in existence.

Because the Indian government has banned the practice of dowry.

"The daughter who is the most precious of every wealth, who is the life of the father." - Upasana Pattanayak.

Even educated parents expect their daughter-in-law to bring money and gifts for their new family. They use the dowry system as a way of curtailing the wealth of the rich. They torture someone else's daughter without thinking that their own daughter can be treated like this.

Dowry Basically this system of cash, jewellery, furniture, property and other valuables etc. given by the bride's family to the groom's family during the marriage is called dowry system. 

"Daughter is more precious than priceless, then why sell her with dowry." - Upasana Pattanayak.

It is prevalent in India for centuries. Dowry system is one of the prevalent evils in the society. This human civilization is old and it is spread in many parts of the world. It is largely condemned by society, but some argue that it has its own significance. And people are still following it and it is benefiting the bride in many ways.

Many couples these days prefer to live independently and their dowry mostly consists of cash, furniture, cars and other such assets which act as financial support for them and help them to start their new life. At the time of marriage both the bride and groom start their career and they are not financially well enough to bear so much of expenses at one go. But is this a valid reason? If this is the case then instead of putting the entire burden on the bride's family, both the families should invest in settling them. Apart from this, it can also happen that if both the families provide financial assistance to the newly-weds without any loan.

"Hey young...! you don't do this, don't take money, don't give money." - Upasana Pattanayak.

Many also argue that girls who are not good in appearance get married by fulfilling the financial demands of the groom. It is unfortunate that girls are seen as a burden and the priority of their parents is to get them married as soon as they reach the age of twenty. In such cases giving heavy dowry and this evil practice is like a boon to those who are able to buy a groom for their daughters. However, now is the time when such thinking should be changed.

"He collects money for years for his daughter's wedding party. Then a wicked one comes and demands dowry from them." - Upasana Pattanayak.

It is also believed by the proponents of the dowry system that the prestige of the bride and her family increases in the society when a large amount of gifts is provided. However statistics show that in most cases it has worked against girls.

"Dowry society is the biggest evil. This is the reason why women are in bad condition." - Upasana Pattanayak.

The question is, why are people following dowry even after declaring dowry a punishable offense and spreading awareness about the impact of this practice through several campaigns? Here are some of the main reasons why the dowry system persists despite being condemned by the public:

In the name of tradition, the status of the bride's family is estimated by giving gifts to the groom and his family in the form of jewellery, cash, clothes, property, furniture and other assets. This trend has been prevalent for decades. It has been named as a tradition in different parts of the country and people do not dare to ignore this tradition when there is an occasion like a wedding. People are following this tradition indiscriminately though it has proved to be a burden for the bride's family in most of the cases.

According to the status symbol, for some people, the dowry system is more than a social symbol. People believe that those who give big car and more and more cash amount to the groom's family, this improves the image of his family in the society. So even though many families cannot afford these expenses, they arrange lavish weddings and give many gifts to the groom and his relatives. It has become like a competition these days where everyone wants to beat the other.

Although the government has made dowry a punishable offense, the law related to it has not been strictly enforced. There is no bar on the exchange of gifts and dowry given during the marriage. These loopholes are one of the main reasons why this bad practice still exists.

"Make a movement, not a campaign, erase the name of dowry now." - Upasana Pattanayak.

Apart from these, gender inequality and illiteracy are also major contributors to this terrible social practice.

Here is a look at the various problems that this practice poses for the bride and her family members:

On the basis of financial burden on the family, every girl's parents start saving for her marriage from the time she is born. They save many years for the wedding because in the matter of marriage, from the decoration to the catering, the entire responsibility lies on their shoulders. Apart from this they are required to give huge amount of gifts to the groom, his family and his relatives. Some people borrow money from their relatives and friends while others take loans from banks to meet these demands.

On the basis of lower standard of living, the bride's parents spend so much on their daughter's wedding that they often lower their standard of living. Many people get trapped in the affair of bank loans and spend their whole life in repaying it.

On the basis of support corruption, the person in whose house the daughter has taken birth has no option but to avoid paying dowry and organizing a decent marriage ceremony. They have to deposit money for the marriage of their girl child and for this people start conducting some business activities through various corrupt means like taking bribe, evading tax or through unfair means.

Mother-in-law often compares the gifts brought by her daughter-in-law to those brought by other brides around her and makes sarcastic remarks making her feel inferior. Girls often feel emotionally stressed because of this and suffer from mental depression.

"As long as there is dowry system, the daughter will remain unhappy forever." - Upasana Pattanayak.

While some in-laws have made it a habit to misbehave with their daughter-in-law and never leave an opportunity to humiliate her, some in-laws do not hold back in physically abusing their daughter-in-law. Many cases of women being killed and burnt due to their inability to meet the huge demands of dowry keep coming to light from time to time.

"Dowry has slowly eaten our society.

It has tormented someone's daughter or someone's sister." - Upasana Pattanayak.

A girl child is always seen as a burden for the family. It is the dowry system that has given birth to female feticide. Many couples have also opposed female feticide. Cases of abandonment of a newborn girl child have also been common in India.

"The intention will be to keep the girls safe. Everyone will have to promise not to take dowry." - Upasana Pattanayak.

The dowry system is strongly condemned. The government has passed a law making dowry a punishable offense but it is still being followed in most parts of the country making it difficult for girls and their families to live.

"As long as you keep asking for dowry,

 You will keep hanging girls on the cross." - Upasana Pattanayak.

The dowry system is one of the most heinous social systems in the Indian society. This has given rise to various issues like female feticide, leaving the girl childless, financial problems in the girl's family, using unfair means to earn money, emotional and physical abuse of daughter-in-law. To stop this problem, the government has made laws making dowry a punishable act. 

Here's a more detailed look at these laws:

The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 consolidated the anti-dowry laws that were made applicable to some states. This law provides for punishment in section 3 on giving or taking dowry to any person. The minimum punishment may be imprisonment for 5 years and fine not exceeding Rs. 15,000 or the value of dowry received, whichever is higher. The Act defines dowry as any property or thing of value. The penalty of giving or taking dowry does not apply in cases which are given at the time of marriage without any demand.

"There are many provisions in the law to stop dowry. May you contribute to punish the dowry lovers." - Upasana Pattanayak.

Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 law has been implemented to empower women against such abuse. Many women are abused emotionally and physically to meet the dowry demands of their in-laws. It protects women from domestic violence. All forms of abuse, including physical, emotional, verbal, economic and sexual, are punishable under this law. Different types of punishment and the severity of abuse vary.

Despite the laws made by the government, the dowry system still has a strong hold in the society. Here are some solutions to eliminate this problem:

Education is highly important as well as recommended also. Lack of education is one of the main contributors to social practices like dowry system, caste discrimination and child labor. People should be educated to promote logical and proper thinking to get rid of such belief systems which give rise to such bad practices.

Women empowerment is also essential.

Instead of looking for a well established groom for their daughters and investing all their savings in daughter's marriage, people should spend money on their daughter's education and make her dependent on her own. Women should continue to work even after their marriage and focus their energy on their work rather than succumbing to the sarcastic remarks of in-laws. Women should be made aware of their rights, and how they can use them to protect themselves from abuse.

Gender inequality that basically exists in our society is one of the main reasons for the dowry system. From a very early age, children should be taught that both men and women have equal rights and that no one is better or less than the other.

Apart from this, various campaigns should be organized to sensitize this issue and the laws laid down by the government should be made more stringent.

Advocates of dowry system may support various unjustified reasons to support it but the fact remains that it causes more harm to the society as a whole. Dowry system is a big problem for the Indian society, which is mostly violated in rural areas.

"Our country will grow only when the name of dowry is eradicated." - Upasana Pattanayak.

It is sad that it continues even after people in India have fully understood the ill effects of the dowry system. Due to which many women of our country have been affected.  

"Don't consider taking dowry as a crown.

 It has taken the lives of many innocent people." - Upasana Pattanayak.

The dowry system is a cause of pain for the girl and her family. The solutions mentioned here should be taken seriously and incorporated in the law to get rid of this evil. The government and the general public need to stand together to end this system.

Unless we are ready to bring change in our hearts, this practice will continue like this. It is high time that we should raise our voice to end this problem in the country.

"Come make a new place, drive away the dowry system." - Upasana Pattanayak.

"Be away from sin, don't ask for dowry in marriage." - Upasana Pattanayak.

"Respect a woman, treat her like a Goddess." - Upasana Pattanayak.

"Don't demand dowry

Stop this wrong doing

Change the thinking

Change the character

Remove the dowry system." - Upasana Pattanayak.


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