It is 2021 and we still hear about Dowry Deaths: Indeed it is disturbing
We are in 2021 and stuck in the middle of a Pandemic. But Crime against women is on an all-time high. Be it domestic violence, dowry or mental harassment, every day there are new cases. At a time, when women are financially independent, making unconventional choices, reading about dowry deaths are indeed disturbing. The recent incidents of domestic violence and dowry deaths have shaken the conscience of society.
Recently, a Kerala woman was found dead at her husband’s house after she alleged that her in-laws were harassing her for the dowry. The 24 –year –old was the final year student of Bachelor Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery. Notably, she had sent snaps to her cousin with images of injuries all over her body. Her husband has been arrested on the dowry charges.
Here the question arises – Is social media outrage enough to prevent dowry deaths? Does the arrest guarantee that any other Vismaya will not lose her life battle like this? She was just 24 and had a beautiful ahead. Meanwhile, in separate incidents, two married women allegedly committed suicide on Tuesday. According to reports, these deaths are also connected to harassment and dowry.
Dowry Deaths: A threatening reality of New India
There are a plethora of cases where women were either murdered or commit suicide because of harassment. According to the National Crime Bureau of India in 2017 recorded 7000 dowry linked deaths. Dowry deaths rose from 19 per day in 2001 to 21 per day in 2016. Just to make the picture clear for you – These are just the reported cases. There are many cases that go unreported.
Taking or giving dowry is a criminal offence in India as per the act of 1961. But we all know the reality. Dowry is still an integral part of Indian marriage and is openly defying laws and failing women empowerment. What is even more brutal that dowry is not limited to rural India. People and families sitting in metro cities too harass a woman for dowry. People who claim to be highly educated also harass a woman for not bringing enough gold and money.
Why is Dowry still prevalent in India?
We are in 2021 and the dowry system was abolished in the year 1961. Then why it is still an integral part of Indian marriage? It is because of the patriarchal society which values men over women. In India, boys have a rate card. After attaining a particular position, job, they are evaluated and accordingly they receive dowry. The gender inequality in society makes the bride’s family feel obliged to meet the dowry demands of the man who has agreed to take care of their daughter.
The dowry is deeply rooted in our society because it is an age-old tradition. After all, how can we break that? A lot of people follow it just because it is a tradition. Last but not the least, the pressure of getting a woman married in Indian families make dowry justified. As soon as a woman in India reaches a certain age, the pressure of getting her married increases on the family. If a woman’s marriage requires dowry in return for a secured future and married life, Indian families willingly give dowry.
When is the end?
Today, Indian women are making a mark for themselves in every field. We have to mutually come forward get rid of such crimes. And it has to begin with our families. Marriage is not a business deal. If the foundation of a marriage is money and a few kilos of gold how will that relationship grow? Parents have to take away the pressure of getting married from their daughters.
Taking the right step at the right time is another way of dealing with the seriousness of this issue. Take legal actions when someone asks for dowry and be the change maker. Your one step can inspire many women and can help them to come out of a toxic marriage and can even save their life. According to NCRB, on average, every hour a woman succumbs to dowry death in India with an annual figure rising upwards of 7000. It will only end when we will let the change happen!
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