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Essay on Dowry System in English For Students
Dowry System in India Essay
The dowry system is a great curse to our nation. It is as old as the institution of marriage. In an era, where science, technology, and industry have made rapid progress and mankind more civilised, dowry has become a part and parcel of marriage. A girl becomes a burden to a family. The dowry system is the root cause of female infanticide and female foeticide. Marriages based on dowry are unhappy marriages. The case of dowry deaths is on the rise in spite of the laws enforced by the government. Many social reformers tried to eradicate this evil practice but in vain. Girls should become financially independent. They should not feel weak or helpless. The youth should come forward to fight against it.
The dowry system is a great curse to our nation. It reflects a man’s superiority over a woman. It scorns the idea that men and women are equal. It has reduced the social status of women. The Dowry Prohibition Act passed in 1961 has not made any difference. Law has proved to be a failure. The dowry system is like cancer which can destroy the very fabric of our society.
The dowry system is as old as the institution of marriage. In ancient times, parents used to give gifts to their daughters at the time of their marriage. These gifts were given as tokens of love and affection. The Indian kings gave part of their kingdom to their daughters as dowry with other gifts like elephants, jewelry, etc. The kings always tried to prove superior by invading other kingdoms. But a father never invaded a daughter’s home. Some kings considered the birth of a princess as a burden. They resorted’ to female infanticide. Female infanticide is another social evil inter-related to the system of dowry.
There was no demand for dowry during ancient and medieval times. As the girl did not inherit the property of her parents, she was given gifts to compensate’ this loss. The groom’s party never questioned or demanded. But today, the groom’s party demands dowry. Today, parents can auction their son for marriage. Boys carry a price tag depending on their profession or educational status. There are ‘rates’ fixed for I.A.S., I.P.S., P.C.S., I.E.S., officers and qualified engineers, and doctors. The dowry system was not compulsory in some of the communities in India but today it has become compulsory. In an era where science, technology, and industry have made rapid progress and mankind more civilised, dowry has become a part and parcel of marriage.
The items generally demanded in a dowry are cash, ornaments, clothes, furniture, refrigerator, music system, television, car, motorcycle, scooter, etc. Besides these, the parents of the bride are supposed to offer dinner and gifts to the family and relatives of the groom.
If the girl brings less than the expected dowry, it leads to an unhappy Married life and even to divorce. In extreme cases, the groom and his parents torture her and even kill her. At times, she commits suicide to put an end to her wretched life. Some brides are pestered to keep on giving something or the other even after marriage. The more she gives, the more they demand. In spite of the laws enacted by the government against dowry, the cases of dowry deaths are on the increase. Hundreds of deaths and bride-burnings are reported every year in our country and many cases are reported at all. Such evil is found nowhere else in the world except India.
Because of this evil practice, we have become an object of ridicule in the eyes of other nations. Social reformers like Mahatma Gandhi, Swami Dayanand Saraswati, and others have tried to stop this practice. The late Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi tried to eradicate” this evil. Unfortunately, this practice is becoming more popular today.
A number of girls in India remain unmarried simply because their parents are poor and cannot afford a good dowry. Some parents sell off their property to get their daughters married. This makes them bankrupt”. There is an increase in female foeticide cases. Daughters are regarded as a curse and boys as a boon.
When dowry becomes a precondition of marriage, the husband and wife can never lead a happy life. Such marriages are bound to end in tensions, quarrels, divorces, etc. Children born out of such parents can never be brought up well in the desired manner.
Nowadays, several women organizations have come into being to check this evil. They hold seminars, rallies, and demonstrations to mobilise” public opinion against this system. Young boys and girls are taking oath° not to follow this evil custom.
Awareness and education could help to curb16 this evil practice. Young boys and girls should not come under the pressure of their parents. Educational institutions should canvass against the dowry system. More stringent laws should be enforced to check this practice. The registration of marriage should be made compulsory, where both the parties may be required to declare that they have neither taken nor given any dowry. The young women themselves should come forward and take a lead in the movement. They should never feel weak and helpless. They should try to become economically independent. Inter-caste marriages should be encouraged. The grooms too should come forward to play an active role in bringing about a social change in this sector. The media, both print, and electronic should contribute to making people aware of the negative effects of dowry.
Man and woman are the two wheels of life. Life can never be smooth sailing if one of its wheels is neglected. So, men and women should be treated equally for the progress of the nation.
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