Indian Dowry And Marriage System Essay

1864 words - 7 pages


    Why does the “dowry” still exist in the world? The word “dowry” has a deep meaning which needs to be noticed in this cruel society. Indian society is surrounded with many problems such as unemployment, population growth, and terrorism. Among these problems, a challenging and hideous tradition is the dowry system. Dowry is the non-refundable money or property in which the groom or his family demands wealth of the bride at the wedding. Marriage is a religious and social event; the exchange of properties has become an institutionalized custom in India. Marriage is a contract of being united between the people of the opposite sex, which is also known as forming a couple or spouses. Many people are uninformed about the dowry. There are only a few countries that have the dowry system. Besides India, there are some other countries that have common practices, such as Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Pakistan. Aside from the strong Indian rituals and customs, there are some certain disgraces that women suffer based on discrimination from the society in regards to marriage and dowries, such as poor education, lack of law enforcement, and few social freedoms.
    Only a few parts of India have freedom. In undeveloped cities, there are few women’s rights. Traditionally, marriages are arranged by the parents. Women are not allowed to choose their own life partner. A bride’s desirability is based on her suitability as a “homemaker” and wife. In some middle class family, if the bride's family is unable to provide abnormal dowry, they marry their young daughter to an unworthy men (old or disabled) who does not ask for a dowry (Nirmi 2). Based on the religious appearance, the girl’s family is scared of loosing respect for their own. Consequently, they will go deep beyond their means to protect a reputation. Gargi Chakravarty said, “Girls are looked upon by their parents as burdens”. She highlights the rise in dowry deaths but there was no hope of altering a gruesome system (India: Till Death Us Part India). The statistics are hard to gather because of police apathy. In the book, Marriage, the narrator, Lerner says, “some men have accepted that society has discriminated the women for centuries, but they do not want to correct the inequalities that ladies are facing"(Lerner 45). They are not capable of handling/facing the situation because of being illiterate or feared from the society. In the article "`Please Give Your Children as a Gift to Us” an Indian family had four girls and expected and hoped for the boy for the fifth arrival. When the time came, the wife gave birth to another girl and father got frustrated. He left home and ordered his wife to kill the baby and bury the baby in the backyard by the time he returned home. The mother could not do anything because they could not afford the dowry for another girl. Eventually, she called one of her neighbors and sent her baby to the Mercy Home. Before her husband returned, she dug the fake grave on...

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