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I am a man and I am against dowry culture

Dowry is the most common socially accepted bribe given to the in laws of one’s daughter.

You won’t see any respectable member of the society defending dowry openly. The major problem comes with show off, trying to prove your wealth, families arrange products worth millions, generating the sense of deprivation.

Even a middle class family having household monthly income of less than Rs 50,000, spend hundreds of thousands of rupees just to appease the in laws-to-be.

Without an iota of shame groom’s family openly exchange lists.

Thousands of less privileged girls are sitting at home, waiting for childhood dream of becoming bride one day with the only obstacle being  dowry.

The dowry given under the garb of gifts does not remain limited till the wedding day, the demands rise with the passage of time. When my time came I decided against taking dowry, as I was blessed with full family support in taking this decision.

But I know many of friends also want to shut this immoral custom but they succumb to the family pressure and gluttony.

We seldom find this dowry culture in Arab and West having its routes engrained in Indian subcontinent, as property inheritance law is still new in India.

Now after decades of struggle, married daughters have equal rights in the parental property after the advent of amendment in Hindu Succession Act 1956, that came into existence from September 9, 2005.

Dozens of girls die in India alone due to dowry issues. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) of India states that:

“In 2015, as many as 7,634 women died in the country due to dowry harassment. Either they were burnt alive or forced to commit suicide over dowry demand. Data further reveals that after registration of dowry deaths, police have chargesheeted around 93.7 per cent of the accused, of which only 34.7 per cent have been convicted.”

Rather than a decline, unfortunately this dowry culture has been swelling and threatening our family institutions. Mental and physical torture is given to the girls to press them for unrealistic dowry demands.

Dowry is also behind violence against women in the country, according to a Japanese researcher Momoe Makino, higher amount of dowry increases women’s power in the marital household in Pakistan, especially in villages.

Secondly women with higher dowries are less likely to fall victim to fatal domestic violence. These results suggest that dowry enhances women’s welfare in the marital household in rural Pakistan.

Unfortunately our religious scholars also do not discusses the evil outcomes of dowry, as Islam explicitly negates extravagance.

It’s quite unfortunate that one of the most dangerous social issue has been left unaddressed, except few voices.

It goes without saying that as it’s a social issue and laws wont tackle this grave situation, but political parties can definitely include elimination of dowry in their manifestos.

Media awareness campaigns can play a pivotal role in the abolition of this menace. Girls also need to take a tough stance, they should convince their parents that they won’t be marrying those greedy people.

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