What is dowry?
Dowry is the money, goods, property, gifts, that a woman brings to her husband or his family in marriage. Dowry is an old and ancient custom which still seems to be in existence. Dowry is demanded as a condition to accept marriage proposal from the brides family because of which there is so much loan commitment on brides family and this causes a lot of financial problems. Although there are laws which prohibit the dowry condition but it still seems to be in practice.
Dowry condition often damages mental health of women. Dowry in India is not limited to Hindus or any specific religion, it is widespread. In India dowry is called as Dahej and Indian Muslims called dowry as Jahez. There are laws related to dowries which has been in effect for many years but at the same time they have been largely criticized for being ineffective.
Dowry can lead to death many times. Women are sometimes murdered, compelled to suicide or gets harassed by her husband and her in-laws for the dowry. Dispute because of dowry takes a toll on health of both women and her family. Lower middle class people and middle class people suffer various financial problems due to unnecessary demands of groom’s family regarding dowry. In India dowry deaths account for about 40-50 percent of all female homicides recorded annually. Dowry death is considered as one of the crime and violence registered against women.
LAWS FOR PROHIBITION OF DOWRY –
CRUELTY TO WOMEN (Sec 498-A IPC and allied sections) – This law was introduced in the year 1983 to protect married women from being subjected to cruelty by the husband or in-laws. If the women has been subjected to cruelty of her husband and her in-laws then the punishment of 3 years and fine has been subjected to husband and his family according to the law. Harassment or cruelty can be both physical and mental. Mental health of women in dowry condition is as important as physical condition. Women are compelled to do suicide because they are fed-up of the mental torture and they don’t know what to do further. They just need to get free from all this dowry dispute.
DOWRY PROHIBITION ACT OF 1961 – Dowry deaths increases about 19 per day in 2001 to 21 per day in 2016. In 1961, the Dowry Prohibition Act made giving and taking of dowry or making a demand for it is an offence punishable with imprisonment and fine. This was a total failure as dowries became a nationwide phenomenon, replacing bride price. More strict laws were implemented but they all have little effect on dowry system.
There are many laws for the prohibition of dowry but they all have become a failure as women dies because of dowry dispute. Even though dowries are illegal since 1961 but however you can see its still there. Dowry gets reported only when the groom’s demands go beyond what the bride’s family can afford or when the bride is physically abused or, worse, killed, as there are cases that gained media attention too. According to data reported in 2015, more than 113,000 women reported abuse by their husbands or in-laws, and 7,646 deaths were classified as related to dowry disputes. This happens because the brides families could not meet the dowry demands of the grooms families.
All say no to dowry but when the wedding takes place instead of remembering this simple thing they take dowry and sometimes demand it more than the brides family financial conditions. In small cities of India if there is no dowry marriage gets cancelled and because of this reason brides family has to take up loan so as to pay and suffer lots of financial stresses. Not only in small cities but in big cities too this situation arises lot of time.
People say that they should change their way of dressing and talking with modern time but in dowry situation some of them fail to change their thinking about that. So, if we want to vanish this dowry situation we have to step-up and change peoples perspective who thinks that dowry is very necessary for a marriage.
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