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The never-ending hoodoo of dowry

I read a news article just a few hours back: IPS officer alleges dowry harassment by IFS officer husband (Source: The Hindu)

The most shocking thing about the news was that it did not shock me in the least. It should be, shouldn't it? I mean, it is not a normal case. The concerned parties are among the top 0.0004th percentile in India. Elite among the elite. And still, they are bound by a regressive system like dowry that should have been obsolete ages ago.

In 1997, a cute little girl was born to my parents. You may have guessed already. Yes, it is no one else but me. My parents were overjoyed. They had their first child, and they had been secretly hoping for a daughter. However, the same could not be said for the hoards of relatives that we have been blessed (or cursed?) with. There was a common disappointed look and a piece of well-meaning advice: "Now you have to start saving for her dowry." Because well, a girl's life purpose is to get married. By paying money. Makes total sense. To a retard. (Please do excuse my colorful language.)

Now, I have got nothing against marriage. Correct me if I am wrong, but my concept of marriage is of two people making a life together with affection, loyalty, and respect. A start of a new family. Now, why would you torture your family for more money? Is it common practice for a father to extort and scam money from his children? Or a daughter to demand money from her mother? Kill, torture, and threaten to abandon for it? If it is not, then why is it common for a husband to do that to his own wife?

I believe that the root of the problem is every single parent who starts preparing their daughter's dowry the moment she is born. And preparing their sons to receive it. The more I think about it, the more I am left in confusion. Why would parents need to buy a groom for their daughter? Is she that worthless that you have to pay someone to marry her? Also, I have noticed that the given dowry is almost never enough. A lifetime of demands, threats, and abuse. Why would you pay someone to do that? Isn't that money better off being spent on her education?

Every year, there are more than 8000 dowry deaths in India. 8000 (Highest in the world - Be proud). That's what the official records state, and we know that it is almost never accurate. The number is far higher. Let's not even talk about the mental and physical torture. I would have understood if all these crimes were perpetrated by uneducated people. (Not really, humanity needs no education. Nor does basic common sense.) But as I stated in the beginning, it remains a common practice even amongst the most elite. The ones supposed to be the pride of the country.

Oh right, I forgot to tell you my father's response to the wonderful humans who told him to save up for my dowry. "My daughter will be a rare diamond herself. Why would she need any other dowry?" I get goosebumps every time I hear of it. (giggle).

Alright, my rant is over. However, the issue is not. Speak against dowry when you see it. Change begins at home. So never ever give or receive any dowry. But I know you don't need my advice. My readers are awesome enough even without any of it.

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