18 April 2013 Causes and Consequence of Dowry in India

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Laxmi Dulal

Professor, Madav Kafle

ESL 15

18 April 2013

Causes and Consequence of Dowry in India

Today like many other countries the Indian society is running through many problems, like population growth, gang rape, unemployment, illiteracy, and terrorism. Among these problems, the dowry system is one of the deep problems in all Indian culture. A dowry is wealth and property that the bride’s family gives to the groom’s family at the time of marriage. It has now become one of the major problems in India because of increasing number of dowry related crimes such as harassment and murder. In this essay I will show how dowry harassment and the dowry death are related to lack of educational opportunities for women, poverty, and man dominant culture. Following that I will talk about major solutions to this problem.

First, let me introduce the Indian dowry system to you. Historically girls are not allowed to go to school or to get any type of education in Indian culture (Singh). Since they were not allowed to get any kind of education they did not have a strong background and could not support themselves after marriage. Earlier, this system only existed in wealthy families like kings and business men, but it was followed by commoners as well. Although dowry marriage is illegal in India because of the Dowry Act 1961, it is still widely practiced. Today, the greed of dowries seems to touch. Every ordinary Indian person and society

A dowry is usually a promise to give the wealth, and properties of the bride to the groom and his parents. But, after the marriage some girl’s parents are not able to give or fulfill the demand of a dowry. So, in their husband’s house until the demanded dowry is provided. I think many Indian people consider girls equal to property, because if they have property in the dowry, they will be happier, if don’t they will abused. For example, the Indian actor Amir Khan hosts the famous television program Satyamev Jayate, which is reality talk show, supported by the Indian congress. In this program Amir comes up with “Marriage & Dowry Harassment” in which it shows how girls are suffering in India because of dowries. In this program, we meet, Komal, a well-educated girl who was born in a rich family. Her parents arrange her marriage with a well-educated man. At first, the groom family said that they did not need any property from the bride’s family. But, later they started to demand more property. The girl’s parents kept giving the property to the groom’s parents. Later on, Komal and her husband came to America. Still her husband kept demanding more and more property. So, Komal’s parents were not able to give more, so then Komal started to receive more torture. She was humiliated, harassed, and made miserable every day (Satyama Jayata, Star TV, marriage and Dowry, 20th may 2012) It is the story of one educated women. Now, just think how many illiterate women are tortured in India. Thousands of brides have to suffer harassment, abuse, and miserable every day. Every day many brides get murdered and forced to commit suicide in India by burning themselves while cooking food in kitchen, because their parents are not able to pay the demanded dowry (Theakaekara).

Women’s dowry death rate is getting higher and higher in India. Every day dozens of brides are murdered or forced to commit suicide because of too much harassment. Many of the murders or the suicides are done after the marriages because the bride’s family was not able to provide the dowry as promised. On the other hand many brides are forced in to suicide because her in law’s do not want any more any burden on their family since the bride’s parents are not providing the dowry. Here is the data of the number of brides who died because their parents were under the poverty line and not able to provide the demanded dowry. In 2007 dowry death rate of under poverty line is 6995 and it increase in 2010 by 8991. According to the national census of 2011 (chauracia) dowry death rate is more than 9, 5000 women were killed every year in India over dowry. Which is regularly higher than dozen of women’s died in every day. The above data shows that death related to dowry is increasing every year and is creating big trouble in coming generation in India (Chauracia).

Another reason of increase in harassment and death rate related to dowries is the male-dominant society. India is a mostly male dominant country in which females are not allowed to talk even if other woman is getting harassed by any men (UNIFEM). Men are given more rights by the family because they can bring more dowries at the time of marriage. Usually many Indian parents arrange marriage for their son expecting a large dowry. So, if the girl’s parents were not able to provide the dowry they will cancel the marriage. For example, in the television program Satyamev Jayate, Indian people cancel the marriage if the girl’s parents disagree to give dowry. In this program we meet with Rani whose marriage was canceled because the groom’s father demanded a car as a dowry and Rani Parents were not able to afford it. But the good thing is that she took the video while the groom’s parents were asking for the dowry and forecast it in the television news Tahalaka. After that, the groom parents were arrested, they broke the law (Satyama jayata, Star TV, marriage and Dowry, 20th may 2012). In much Indian conservative society if the marriage is canceled then no men are want to marry those women, and everyone talks bad about those particular, girls which leads many Indian women to suicide. So, there should some solution solve this type of problem in India.

There are multiple ways to solve this problem. At first, educate women academically and politically. For this India government should implement the law in strict way in every citizen of the country that they should send their daughter to school to get their education. This is because in some conservative Indian society there are still so many parents that they believe they shouldn’t send their daughter to school for their education (source?). They should know that, by educating their daughter they will be able to stand on their own feet. They can work for them by themselves. They don’t have to rely on their husbands. On the other hand, if women are educated they will know their rights; also they will know where to go if anybody asks for dowry at the time of their marriage. Once they know their rights there will be reduce on such a crime in big number.

Secondly, national government and state government should raise awareness program regarding dowry. There are many people who are well educated are still having greed of dowry. Aware people, that the dowry marriage is illegal by the law. Awareness program is the second way to educate people. Many parents will learn from awareness program that they shouldn’t give the dowry because it is illegal. Create a local community against the dowry. If anybody known having participated in dowry take a social action like boycott them in every social activities, by which they will stop keep doing the dowry.

Third way to reduce dowry is to implement the law in a strict way. In India there is law against dowry, Dowry Act 1961 which make dowry marriage illegal in India. In this law it says that if anybody known doing or practicing dowry marriage they will be imprisoned for three year and fifteen thousand fines (cite this source). Now, government should implement this law in very strict way. Since, the government has been write law for dowry they never had implied it, or the people have never follow it. For example, in many Indian villages there is panchayet system, which is group of five old people who create their own law and never follow the national law. By implementing the law those Panchayet should be punished because they support dowry marriage.

Dowry created so many problems for women’s in India, home violence, harassment, abuse, and dowry death etc. Due to lack of education, Poverty and man dominant culture thousands of women lives their life. This is very big problem that India and the women of India running through today. It seems dowry death is increasing every year according to the census done in 2011(chaureacia). Therefore, to eradicate dowry problem from India, the India government should think about this, and start Educating woman, raise awareness program, and implementing law (Dowry Act 1961) will be helpful to reduce this crime in India.

Work Cited

"Dowry Death: Crime Against Humanity." Dowry Death: Crime Against Humanity. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2013.

"How It Feels to Be a Woman in India." Global Public Square RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2013.

"Social Problems Faced By Developing Country Sociology Essay." Social Problems Faced By Developing Country Sociology Essay. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2013.


YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2013



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