My heart bleeds at just a thought of this prevailing social evil ‘Dowry’. Its still so deep rooted in the Indian culture that the moment a girl child is born, accompanied with the rejoicement or even overriding it is the thought of starting to save as much as possible. Though I am thankful for being born and brought up in a family in which I have never seen this happening, I get to see lot of people around, who are educated [meaning text book education] still engaging themselves in this custom [so they say] without even having a sense of guilt I feel. Rather alarming is the fact that I have seen them having a sense of pride when they discuss that they got more because of the property they have or the so called Post-grad degrees they have. Its so painful to see that they want to go to foreign land because that increases their dowry prospects in the marriage market [Sad to see such a term being coined]; they want to do a Post-grad degree
so that they get more from the bride’s family. Numerous examples where one person justifies saying that he has given the same during his sister’s wedding and so now is his chance to be on the receiving side; y were u on the giving side in the first place? This is how the cycle continues; though people cannot follow other’s foot steps when they set out to bring about a change in the society, this is one place where they want to show how united they are. What a shame!
I remember when I saw a just born girl at a hospital and the entire family is rejoicing on the arrival of this li’l bundle of joy to brighten up their lives, there comes a man who sees that the child is not so fair [just not so fair mind you] and lifts both his hands to signal a bundle and says have to start getting it ready. How ridiculous? This girl today is a national level shuttle player, a topper in class, wonderful Bharatnatyam dancer – what more could any parent ask for; and she is so down to earth than any other person I have met. I am not saying that its required to balance her skin colour or something like that; my point is only that such things dont even have to be thought of; let alone being so insensible to say them, esp. on such a happy day. Of what use is that beauty which may not have a beautiful heart inside? Ur heart is what shows the type of person u r and not the colour of your skin. Marriage is an integral part of a person’s life but there are many other facets too and why this thought of marriage on Day 1 of the arrival of the kid?
It was easily said in olden days that since the onus of looking after the girl now lay on her husband and in-laws, her parents had to provide for her future. First of all, this is so ridiculous as she too is contributing by looking after the home and children. And even if someone buys this logic, the situtation should have completely changed now where the girls are equally educated and standing on their own feet and lead w well-balanced life juggling between home and family. I have questioned so many people and the reply they give is that ‘Its after all in her name itself, as though I am taking it for myself’.
One of my friends was recently telling that his mom is feeling bad that he had a love marriage more because she missed out on getting the desired dowry which would compensate for what she had already given to her daughters. I also have another friend who too had a love marriage that her extended family keep giving illustrations of other people who recive dowries. I have seen this practice being so prevalent in some communities that the first question they ask someone who is married is “How much?” and you ought to know what it means.
The hands that feed you, care for you, support you in running the family, rock the cradle for your kids and do much more, dont they deserve more than this? Wake up! Say No. We need to contribute our bit to the change we want to see. The cases of female foeticide in one way find one of the root causes in this evil practice. Lets tackle it at the root.