Author :- Mayank Gupta
Firstly, the dowry system in India existed even before the British time, but at that time the dowry system which is followed by the people was different. The parents used to give gifts to their bride at the time of marriage as it was all same as the parents used to give their wealth to their sons. Mostly at that time only those parents used to give gifts to the bride who are capable to do. And the most important thing is that, the gift was directly given to bride not to the bridegroom or his parents. So, the parents used to give gift to their bride happily on their choice not forcefully or any compulsion to pay the dowry.
In the present time, the dowry system in India looks like marriage has become a source of income for the bridegroom and his family’s. Dowry system is not followed by only one particular religion, many different religions are following dowry system. We are living in the 21st century but still many social evils are existing in our society. Dowry is one of them. We cannot imagine marriage without taking dowry in some places in India. The main dowry items are money, car, motorcycle, gold, electronic gadgets etc. The main reasons why dowry system is increasing more day by day in India because people has started accepting that they have to pay dowry for the bright future of their daughter. So, that the bride will not face any problem after the marriage. And some people started giving dowry to show off in the society. People has started doing comparison on the basis of amount and the quantity of dowry. The dowry problem is more in undeveloped and developing countries compared to developed countries. The old thinking people or illiterate persons are more interested in receiving dowry. Due to give and take of dowry in India many girls are facing many problems. In India more than 8,000 women dies as a result of dowry system each year. Sometimes a woman is murdered by her husband or in laws when her family are not able to give the requested dowry gift. Other times, women are committing suicide when they face harassment and abuse when they are not able to fulfil the demand of the bridegroom and his family.
The payment of dowry has long been prohibited under specific Indian laws including the dowry prohibition Act, 1961 and subsequently by section 304B and 498 of the Indian Penal Code. The need of the hour is to replace hatred, greed, selfishness and anger by mutual love, trust and understanding and if women were allowed to receive education and become economically independent. This can be stopped only when there would be a change in the mentality of the people. Dowry system is good unless and until it is considered as a gift given to the bride by her parents. If the bridegroom parents are demanding money to get married as a “Dowry” then that is completely wrong and illegal.