The practice of dowry is still on the rise in India. Dowry has been a parasite for the institution of marriage. The problem which Indian society still suffers is cruelty against women is based on dowry; domestic violence against women in India has its root at the demand of dowry. Several laws have been made for the abolition of dowry but it seems that the laws have failed to show a possible outcome. Section 2 of the Dowry prohibition act, defines dowry.
The legal framework in India for prohibiting dowry are:
- Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961-
- Indian Penal Code, 1860 – Dowry Death (section 304 B) , Husband or relative of husband subjecting women to cruelty (section 498-A).
- Indian Evidence Act, 1872- Presumption as to dowry death (Section 113 B)
According to section 3 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, the family of bridegroom would be liable for taking dowry and so would the family of bride be liable to consent to provide dowry.
The continuance of internal contradictions calmly coexisting with the cultural ethics of dowry, arranged marriages and the rights of young girls and women remains a challenge. Ultimately social responsibility will rest upon the initiative and mentality of that segment of the Indian population having a system entrapped in the Extortion of dowry.
Social laws are required where culture failed to institutionally stop injustices of dowry deaths, an infanticide in case the woman fail to produce sons and leading to family breakdown due to dowry harassment.
The cancer of dowry is spreading in a virulent form while the law to curb dowry is a failure. Huge dowry is still demanded, even when the girls are well educated and earn much more to supplement the income of the family. Sometimes, after the dowry is settled, further demands are increased during the marriage ceremony, making plight the parents of the bride, very pitiable and pathetic.
Many NGOs and Social Institutions, Women organizations, National Human Rights Commission are also there to help the women in such cases. Family courts are also established to settle the disputes in an amicable way. Press and media also play a great role to make such incidence public, but in spite of all these, a social awakening is required to kill this devil.
In Rajeev v. Ram Kishan Jaiswal, the court held that any property given by parents of the bride need not be in consideration of the marriage, it can even be in connection with the marriage and would constitute dowry.
Dowry as a practice is deeply rooted in the society. It caused deaths of many innocents and had a huge negative impact over the society since ages. This practice cannot be eradicated from the society because of the mindsets and thoughts that the Indians hold. More stringent laws, more awareness, more education to the girls more self-dependence of the girls and a social awakening can only curb this ever-increasing evil of dowry.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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