I was at my ex-teacher’s house and we were discussing my future study plans. Suddenly a man came, might be a concerned father of would be the bride. He started talking about his dowry plans which he would be offering to the groom. After some discussions, ma’am said something unexpected.
She retired as an HOD of my college having so much education and then saying and quoting ‘without dowry you’re not getting any good groom, you have to pay something to have a bright son-in-law.’ I was shocked. People are preaching and telling everyone not to take dowry. But, coming back to ground reality they are totally focused on what amount to pay to bribe the best boy for their daughter. Referring from the movie, ‘2 States’ offering dowry become such an expense, that there was a loan on the girl’s side and still, the boy’s side wasn’t happy with the car.
You actually know why dowry was given? And too whom? Why? It was the father’s property inherited by the bride to support her and help build a new home, and not a demand from the groom’s side. It’s wasn’t even called dowry.
A price called bride-price was paid, in ancient times, which actually was a gift and not whole lot of money, by the groom or his family to the bride when he thought he should marry her. So, actually, the conclusion here lies that, no girl was eligible to pay a price for herself to be protected and taken care of, to anyone or the groom. According to the population of the girl child in India, ideally, a boy should give dowry to marry her.
Ancient India never saw a ‘money or goods demand’ by any groom. People during those times never cared about the dowry but the bride and how was her appearance to fix the marriage. They settled marriage without the give and take customs. For any father who gives her some kind of gifts even in form of dowry, then it was for her and her husband to set up a home and not to fill the greed of the groom’s family. Well, documentary evidence suggests that at the beginning of 20th Century, bride-price rather than dowry was a common custom.
But over the time, late 20th Century and early 21st Century witnessed some heinous crimes against women which were on dowry. Women are being burned up for not paying much amount of cash to the groom’s party or not fulfilling their demands. Even most of the groom’s family took dowry on their way out to fill their need of money. Such illegal demands were definitely banned in 1961 but, the practice still continued. Nobody, I repeat, nobody goes and complains about it. They keep on demanding and her family with their heads down keep on fulfilling, not realizing the later impacts of it. Such thing even hampers her education. In the first place, where her studies should be completed, but, that same money is preserved for dowry. Girl’s side thinks that they’ll pay enough dowry and cash and she will remain happy, which is so wrong on their part. They don’t understand, the more they’ll pay the more will be demanded.
A big salute to those people who no longer believe in such customs and instead make their daughter able for the challenges of society and to those families who want an educated daughter rather than a cash machine. People have to understand that marriage is bond between two people and not the way to make money.