Dowry in India

A dowry is a payment, such as property or money, paid by the bride’s family to the groom or his family at the time of marriage. Dowry contrasts with the related concepts of bride price and dower. While bride price or bride service is a payment by the groom, or his family, to the bride, or her family, dowry is the wealth transferred from the bride, or her family, to the groom, or his family. Similarly, dower is the property settled on the bride herself, by the groom at the time of marriage, and which remains under her ownership and control.

Dowry is an ancient custom, and its existence may well predate records of it. Dowries continue to be expected and demanded as a condition to accept a marriage proposal in some parts of the world, mainly in parts of Asia, Northern Africa and the Balkans.

Dowry Prohibition act was enacted on May 1, 1961.Secondly, the practice of dowry has to be examined in the broader context of the devalued status of women. Parents are often compelled to pay dowry to ensure the security and happiness of their daughter in her matrimonial home. Misguided as their actions may be, they are in no way comparable to the malicious intent of the persons making the demand for dowry. If the groom’s family did not demand, threaten or coerce the payment of dowry then there would be no question of the bride’s family succumbing to such demands. Social and cultural pressures on the givers of dowry must also be taken into account. Hence the giver and the taker of dowry cannot be placed on the

Dowry Prohibition act was enacted on May 1, 1961.Secondly, the practice of dowry has to be examined in the broader context of the devalued status of women. Parents are often compelled to pay dowry to ensure the security and happiness of their daughter in her matrimonial home. Misguided as their actions may be, they are in no way comparable to the malicious intent of the persons making the demand for dowry.

If the groom’s family did not demand, threaten or coerce the payment of dowry then there would be no question of the bride’s family succumbing to such demands. Social and cultural pressures on the givers of dowry must also be taken into account. Hence the giver and the taker of dowry cannot be placed on the same footing under the law. At the same time, the culpability of the givers of dowry cannot be negated. Hence there must be a distinction made between the extent of culpability of the givers and the takers of dowry.

Article 3 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 specifies that the penalty for giving or taking dowry does not apply to presents that are given at the time of a marriage to the bride or groom is when no demand for them has been made.

Although Indian laws against dowries have been in effect for decades, they have been largely criticized as being ineffective. The practice of dowry deaths and murders continues to take place unchecked in many parts of India, which has further added to the concerns of enforcement.

Since marriages in India are a time for big celebrations in each family, they tend to be very lavish. Accordingly, Indian weddings usually involve considerable expenditure and accompanying wedding presents from relatives in both sides of the family. This is normal expenditure which is done willingly and varies from one family to another depending on the wealth, status, etc.

India, with its large population, reports the highest number of dowry related deaths in the world according to Indian National Crime Record Bureau. In 2012, 8,233 dowry death cases were reported across India, while in 2013, 8,083 dowry deaths were reported. This means a dowry-related crime causes the death of a woman every 90 minutes, or 1.4 deaths per year per 100,000 women in India.

The practice of dowry is not only illegal but also unethical. Therefore, the conscience of society needs to be fully awakened to the evils of the dowry system so that the demand for dowry itself should lead to ‘loss of face’ in society for those who demand it.

Aishwarya Says:

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.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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