Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The shameless blockbuster story of our country

I was skimming the newspapers today late morning (some of luxuries because of a mid week holiday); suddenly a small news article caught my attention. The news was about the suicide of a man because he couldn’t get the money for his daughter’s dowry. The amount was only INR 50K plus few other “gifts”.  It pains that there is no end for such stories. We call ourselves cultured, educated people. What education and culture do these murderers have? Animals are better than us.

We are one of the fastest growing economies on this planet. The rapid commercialization has caused a serious degradation of our value system. Today we are worried about the latest gadgets, glamour, pay checks etc. There is no place for human values, compassion, and love. In our society marriage was considered very sacred, the central pillar around which the society worked. But today this is one of the most profitable business. The love and companionship in the relation is replaced by the paychecks and the status.
 The same degradation in human value sustains this demand of dowry. My readers will be surprised that this problem is not limited to the lower, illiterate sections of the society. We can find this menace in all layers of society.  People with highest education from IIT’s & IIM’s also demand this!!!This is not a relationship; this is a commercial deal where the girl’s family loses.

A lavish and pompous ceremony has become the norm of the day. Rather than talking about the character and beauty of the girl, people talk about the cost of the marriage dress & the finer intricacies of the Kg’s of the gold she wears for the ceremony.  Her friends and families try to match her or even improve their own status by adding few more Kg’s of gold to their wedding. There is no harm if one can easily afford this but it is bad, an evil practice when you are forced to do so to maintain the “status” or the norms of the society. I believe there would be a better status if you can give something from your luxury to the poor on your wedding; feed them, cloth them or give some money to those souls who cannot afford a decent marriage function.  At least you will have a satisfaction that you did something good and the bonus of smiles and prayers from the people you helped.

Dowry has become a trend setter in many families. Some families say that their so and so relatives got so much at their son’s marriage and now they will lose face if they don’t demand more!!!   They continuously terrorize the poor girl’s families till all their demands are met.  Any sensible guy should be ashamed of this. Their families are trading them openly as if they are cattle. The girl’s family pays money to buy such animals for their daughter. My dear brothers have you ever thought about the status you are trying to maintain by being part of such a process?  You are no better than a sheep or any other cattle. For me my friends and family are priceless. I will not trade them even if I got all the treasure of this earth. I think this is what is said to every son by their mothers and families but in reality it seems that they are not priceless. We can easily find their value in this trade market.

I believed that this system was prevalent only in arranged marriages. Few days back I read an article about the death of 26 year old women. She was working as a manger in a private company.  She met a guy through a common friend. After two years of courtship he proposed. Both the families agreed to the relationship. But the guy and his family were demanding dowry before the wedding. The guy even suggested to his fiancĂ©e that she should commit suicide if her family cannot meet his demands!!! Being a faithful partner she followed his advice. My heart and prayers are with that pour soul and her family. I don’t know what type of punishment should be given to such devils.

The cost and pressure caused by this heinous system is one of the major causes of female infanticide. In many families the moment a girl child is born, the worry starts. Many of my colleagues have daughters. Few months back a new angel came to bless my colleague. After few days of child birth we invited him for a weekend tour to a nearby tourist place. He jokingly said that he cannot spend like before because he has to save for his daughter’s wedding (an event that might happen after 25 years)!!! I liked that he loved his family and cares for them but I would have been happier if he had said that he is saving for his daughters education and for fulfilling her dreams. I know about a dad who worked hard all his life, saving every penny he could save. His daughter’s marriage was great, meeting all the parameters and norms of the society. But unfortunately within one year the marriage ended in divorce. She had only a moderate education. Now her life is in a standstill without any direction or purpose. If he had invested all those resources in her proper education and fulfilling her dreams she would have at least got a decent job and purpose in life.
Now lets us look at some of statistics.

According to the figures there was 8391 deaths reported because of dowry in 2012 in India when compared to 6995 deaths in 2000. Surely India is improving its standards. I believe only a very small percentage of the dowry deaths are reported (could be as less as 10%); there are many deaths which go un-reported. The figures show only a tip of iceberg hidden under the complex society rules. There are thousands of others who are living dead because of this system, continuously being abused verbally, physically and emotionally.
It a high time that we acted against this menace, raising our voice collectively.

1 comment:

Annie George said...

Call me a coward to have said this :)