Dowry system is a social evil. It reduces the sacred institution of marriage to a business transaction. This system lowers the dignity of women. The parents of the girl have to pay through their nose huge amount of cash and luxury items all in the name of dowry. Parents are compelled to borrow huge sums of money to fulfill the demands of the bridegroom and his parents. If a girl remains unmarried, it casts a slur on the name of her parents. This social stigma compels the helpless parents to come under the ruthless clutches and paws of moneylenders. Many girls prefer to commit suicide when they find their parents helpless to arrange a big dowry.
This system of dowry has been in practice in India from times immemorial. Dowry was considered a sort of help to the young couple to set up a new home. But this custom got perverted and became an evil as the greed of bridegroom’s parents mounted. A good gesture took the shape of a shame.
Today girls are not inferior to boys. In many fields they perform better than boys and earn mare. But qualification of a girl, her better earning, and her high profile job carry no weight at the time of marriage. Marriage is performed only when bridegroom and his parents have pocketed wads of currency notes and collected all types of luxury items. In many cases bridegrooms leave the marriage ceremonies unfinished.
For the rich dowry is no problem but the poor have to imitate them and get ruined. If a girl raises her voice against her greedy would-be husband she is dubbed as obstinate and characterless. Dowry system has increased the cases of female infanticide and female foeticide.
This inhuman practice must be curbed ruthlessly. Laws have remained ineffective as they have brought little respite to the people. This social needs surgery at the social level. Youths must fight their own battle. Dowry seekers should be penalized then and there. Inter caste marriages should be encouraged. The young should have more say. Attitude that an unmarried girl sitting at home is a stigma, should be changed through proper counseling. If this heinous social evil is not done away with it will grin at us.