The dictionary meaning of the term ‘Dowry’ suggests that it is the money, goods, or estate that a woman brings to her husband in marriage. However, the practice, in real sense, has been deteriorating even more. In school, all of us had been asked to write essays on dowry system in India. We used to write on how a bridegroom’s family exploits that of the bride. Each and every demand has to be fulfilled. Maybe, one or two examples could be included.
The best point is that finding instances never used to be difficult for us as we could find some of the cases happening within our own families. Whatever the case it might be, as we developed the essay, we started hating the practice. While submitting the write-up, we had also promised to ourselves that we would never become a part of this cruel tradition. Day by day, when we grew up, the existence of that hatred faded off. And one day came when it disappeared. And we started attending marriages in which our friends accepted dowry or offered the same. We considered it as a norm of the society.
Now when it came to us to take a decision whether to accept dowry or not, it was a big issue. We thought - “What would our friends think of us? They would say that we were also a part of the dirt.” Hence, we had to come up with an excuse. What we had to do was that we would not demand anything, but accept whatever was offered. Consequently, we did not do anything great. The fact that we did not demand proved to be more beneficial for us and made the bride’s family think that we were nobler and in turn, offered even more.
However, not everything fell on right places for people like us. There were occasions when the bride’s family offered a dowry which was below our expectations, as they thought we had self-respect and did not want it. Then, there was a problem with the entire relationship. The series of taunts began to create a hollow in the bond. Ultimately, we ended up with a bad marriage.
The point here is that the existence of dowry system in disguise is more dangerous than that in open. At least some people have the guts to express that they are shameless and that they have greed and can’t do away with it.