India is a diverse country with people from various walks of life, with different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. There are mostly 9 main religions and various sub-castes in each of them. With 28 states and 8 union territories, India is truly is a glorification of unity in diversity.
But there are many social issues, that are degrading our country’s prestige. One of them is the Dowry system. The Dowry system is followed in India for a very long time. Our ancestors started this system for valid reasons but now it is leading to issues and problems in society. In this essay on dowry, we will see what dowry exactly is, how it started, and why it should be stopped now. The Dowry system started even before the British period. In those days, society does not use to consider dowry as a “Money” or “Fee” you have to pay to be the bride’s parents. The idea behind the dowry system was, to make sure the bride will be financially stable after getting married. The intentions were very clear. Brides parents used to give money, land, assets to the bride as a “Gift” to make sure their daughter will be happy and independent after marriage. This rule changed the pure dowry system into a mess! Now parents of the bride were looking at their bride as a source of income. Parents started hating their daughters and wanted only sons. They started demanding money as a dowry. Women were suppressed since they did not have equal rights as men. And since then, grooms parents follow this rule to their advantage.
The Dowry system is considered a curse on society as it includes demands and a lot of unpleasantness which gives no importance to the education acquired by a girl. It was also a system of honoring the groom for his willingness to accept the bride as his wife in marriage, and the gifts given could range from anything significant to even a small token of good wishes. However, the greed for dowry has affected most ordinary families in India. This menace is the root cause of almost all violence against a married woman. In most cases, after marriage, the problem of dowry will arise. If the wife isn’t ready to provide all, which her husband and in-laws demand, her life within the groom’s house becomes miserable. She will be treated cruelly and in some cases, she may lose her life.
The Indian Penal Code (I.P.C.), Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.), and Indian Evidence Act (I.E.A.) under the criminal law (Second Amendment) Act, 1983, and by the President of India to deal with dowry death cases and of cruelty caused to married women. But the situation in our country is not changing. According to other government records, Delhi itself records a few hundred dowry deaths every year, while women’s rights groups estimate this number to be at 900 per year. This is a phenomenal increase compared to the numbers for the 1990s, which were about 300 per year. It is important to note that these are just official records, and are thus immensely under-reported. 90% of the cases in which women are burnt are recorded as accidents, 5% as suicides and only 5% of the cases are shown as murder. These shockingly high numbers clearly reflect the continuous increase in dowry-related crimes and deaths in India.