In this fast paced modern times of the 21st century. Here in our country, there are many instances when we read the news of young newly wed girls being tortured in the name of dowry. This five letter menacing word is responsible for many social evils like domestic violence, abatement to suicide. dowry murder,etc., prevalent in our society today. Even in the year when women soldiers are defending our borders, dowry demands are rampant in our society.
Etymologically speaking “dowry is the transfer of parental property, gifts or money in the marriage of a daughter”. Though this social ritual is an age old procedure yet with the passage of time it has flourished unchecked in our nation. Parents raise their children either a girl or a boy by making many compromises and with the same amount of love and care. This in turn makes the child grow into an adult who becomes capable of doing anything to the best of their potential irrespective of one’s gender.
One can’t say today. “If you want to marry your daughter to our son let us first discuss the gifts and the sum that you have to give us”. But alas this is far from our country’s present dismal state of affairs. Though we have the Dowry Prohibition Act prevalent in our country since the year 1961. Its rules being overhauled in 1985 but little has changed in this half a decade.
Women today are reaching the pinnacle of success and earning handsome salaries as well. Yet some people with a crippled mentality want dowry from the bride’s family. A girl today is a working woman who can fend for herself. She is no longer confined to the environs of the four walls only.
According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) 2016. Most number of crimes against women were reported under Section 498(A) commonly known as the Anti Dowry Law. There are innumerable cases of violence against women due to dowry demands wherein the police have filed cases against 93.7% of the accused. However, only 34.7% of the accused have been convicted.
Just like every issue has its pros and cons even this social malady has very myriad perspectives. Of late. It had come to the notice of the authorities that the Dowry Prohibition Act is being misused. By certain scheming and shrewd families to harass the bridegroom’s family post marriage.
Earlier. Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code was fraudulently used for automatically imprisoning. The bridegroom and his family at the mere lodging of complaint by the wife. However, in the year 2014. The Supreme Court of India, ruled that arrests in this regard could only be made by the consent of a magistrate after the charges have been proved as true.
The Indian society needs to understand that dowry is such a practice which was initiated by our ancestors. During those times it was not a compulsion on the bride’s family. Marriage is an union of two souls and two families. They should treat each other as equals. Stop expecting as well as asking money from the bride’s family as dowry. Proper implementation of rules and unhindered reporting of dowry demands being made by the bridegroom’s family will result in bringing this creepy ritual to an end.