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Bride burning and Dowry are integral part of India
Sad but true that bride burning and dowry are integral part of India
Bride burning and the dowry system are two crimes that are only prevalent in India. In no other country will you be able to witness such heinous crimes that are fuelled by greed. Bride burning and the dowry system are interrelated and often, the two crimes are combined to be called ‘dowry deaths’.
Although the dowry system has been prohibited by the government since 1961, through the Dowry Prohibition Act, it has never been implemented properly in India. People still continue to take and give dowries secretly, away from the legal eye.
It is sad that marriage, which is supposed to be a holy ceremony, has turned into a commercial activity where men and their families take the opportunity to demand cash, jewelry, automobiles and other commodities.
If the bride’s family is unable to meet these requirements, the bridegroom’s family tortures the bride and burns her. According to statistics, there is one dowry death in one hour in India. This is shocking but true. In 2010, 8,391 dowry death cases were reported in India. There are many cases which have gone unreported. In India, women are not given respect and value. She is treated like a slave and is considered a burden to a family.
It is sad that people of a country who worship female goddesses like Durga, Sita and Parvathi, are also those who inflict pain upon their wives, daughters and daughters-in-law.
In India, a girl is not safe even in the womb of her mother. Despite laws that prohibit doctors from revealing the gender of a baby before birth, people have found loopholes in the system and female feticide is prevalent even today. Since birth, girls are considered a burden because of the dowry system. This is why the gender ratio in India stands at 917 girls to 1000 boys.
When a bride’s family is unable to pay adequate dowry after marriage, the groom’s family forces the bride into a flammable sari and sets her in flames in a kitchen. These cases are reported as either accidents or suicides. Because of this, we are unable to see a reduction in the number of dowry deaths in India.
Local and international legal bodies have come up with many laws to curb such heinous crimes. However, these laws will not be effective unless people voice out such cases to the relevant authorities and take perpetrators to court. In addition, the government should have more checks in place to ensure that people do not take dowries secretly.
A human life is precious. Instead of suffering in silence, victims should fight for their rights and protect the sanctity of marriage, which is slowly but surely getting eroded in the face of commercialization.