The custom of dowry has been prevalent in our society since times immemorial. The parents of the girls used to give certain items or money to the newly-wedded couples so that they could start a comfortable life. But the form of dowry has changed nowadays. Today, the success of a marriage is seen in terms of money and free gifts, not in terms of happy and conjugal relations.
The birth of a daughter in a Muslim family was considered as a sign of good luck. Now, this birth is considered as a burden on the shoulders of the parents. Parents generally curse the day when a daughter is born to them. In some far-off rural and tribal areas, people are compelled to resort to homicide because of their poverty. These sinful acts are the shameful results of unwanted dowry system. If the girl child is spared to survive and grow, she becomes the neglected object of the house. Discrimination is made between daughters and sons and sons are preferred to daughters. Parents always remain worried about the marriage of their daughters.
The parents of the girls have to face huge demands of the dowry when they go into the market in search of prospective bridegrooms. The demands of dowry are so high that their lifelong savings seem a drop in the ocean. They have to borrow and are neck-deep in debt forever. If the parents are unable to fulfill the demands of the groom’s parents, the bride has to face many problems. She is rebuked, insulted and abused. The number of suicides among teenage brides is very high in the country.
Much has been said against dowry system but nothing has been done seriously. The government should start an aggressive campaign against dowry system. Government servants accepting dowry in cash or kind before or after marriage should be charge-sheeted and terminated. It is a good step taken by the government that it has declared dowry a social crime and economic offense against humanity. This evil cannot be wiped out by laws and the steps taken by the government. The people must have an awareness and they should remove this evil from the society.