‘Dowry’ of course is an illegal act but still in practice. According to Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 definition of dowry is ‘Any property or valuable security given or agreed to be given either directly or indirectly-
- By one party to marriage to the other party to the marriage or
- By the parents of either party to a marriage or by another person, to either party to the marriage or to any other person.’
Before a girl is married, her parents spend their life hoarding enough money to wed her off. If they can manage that, it’s fair, if not then they resort to other measures like selling lands, houses. I think, in the game of dowry, the first ball is thrown by the girl’s family by asking the other party the required amount they’d need for the wedding to take place.
I don’t see the point of asking this question. Aren’t they already giving away their daughter? Sadly even in the 21st century, I read several cases of dowry. Newspapers showing harrowing images of women incinerated, or news of them killing themselves due to the enormous pressure by their in laws.
Is dowry the only reason to get married? Is money more important than having a lifetime partner? There is also another part of this issue which needs spotlight; why women don’t raise their voice when they are tortured physically and mentally? Why are they reluctant to share their problems?
There are laws to protect you but for that to happen, women need to raise their voice. Very soon dowry takes the form of domestic violence which in turn leads to suicide and clinical depression.
Let’s change the meaning of dowry. Instead of hoards of cash, seek an educated girl- academically and culturally. In stead of looking for a fair complexion, look for ambition and integrity. Replace materialistic gifts with something useful and memorable like plants or books. Donate money to NGOs and other charitable organization.
Let’s exchange our cultures and find happiness in each other. Let’s seek blessings, love, affection and similes.