Dowry custom has been a case curse for India. Now it poses a challenge which seems difficult to meet. It has proved to be a greatest curse for the poor classes of India. The birth of girl is said to be degree of Rs 20,000 or above for the parents.
Origin of Dowry
Originally parents of the bride would give their daughters present, ornaments and other necessary articles of daily use. These things were meant to contribute, according to their status, to a happy family life. By and by the rich of our society whom we call pillars of society, gave this custom a design to fill pockets of the parents of the bridegroom. In due course of time demand for the dowry became most essential condition of the marriage settlement. The demand in cash which depends upon the merits of the boy and the status of the family become a terror for the society. Middle class people became main target of the attack. The devil of dowry has put an end to the happiness of several couples even after marriage.
Dowry is the Biggest problem of Society at Present
Though India has host of problems to tackle today, yet the biggest which the country is facing is dowry. Dowry, in fact, has destroyed our economy. Today we fix dowry rates of boys of deferent categories – doctors, engineers, lecturers, business men, executives, administrative services, etc. Merit of the girl has nothing to do in the settlement of the marriage proposal. We generally see that ordinary parents find it difficult to select a boy, well settled in life, for their girl who is well qualified and well versed with household activities.
Measures to Eradicate Dowry System
The social evil of dowry system (custom) attracted the attention of the government. It started its campaign against dowry custom. It enacted the Anti-dowry Act in 1961. But it received no support of the society and the administration also neglected the act. Hence this gave no relief to the poor people.
The proclamation of national emergency had given this social evil a death blow. The government seemed to be determined to root out this growing evil. Out late Prime Minister. Indira Gandhi had asked the young boys of the country to come forward to fight this social evil. She herself had set the example by marrying her son Sanjay to Meneka in a very simple ceremony without any dowry. Her call received a warm welcome. Millions of young boys had taken oath not to accept any dowry. Similar thousands of girls had decided once for all to marry those boys who demand no dowry.
Many state governments took bold step at the call of the Prime Minister. They amended the old Anti dowry Act. They also made new act. Dowry was restricted to Rs 3000 to Rs 5000/-. Punjab and Bihar came first in the fight followed by other states. People have been asked to celebrate marriages in the day time with ordinary decoration. This will reduce the expenses of the marriage. Road blocking and fixing Shamiyanas on the public places has been banned. Number of Baratis (members of the marriage party) has been restricted to 25. Government servants, officials and ministers have been asked not to take part in any marriage in which dowry is taken or given.
This is the right time when we should help the government to eradicate dowry from our country. The youth should spare no effort to break the bonds which have slacked our mind and soul.