Marriage and Dowry (Dahej)

The other day I was having a normal conversation with our maid. She told me that she no longer needs to take a leave as the marriage ceremony she was supposed to attend has been cancelled. On asking the reason, I was shocked with her reply, the boy’s family demand could not be fulfilled and hence the marriage has been called off.

Such incidence are common in our society, where  the bride and the bride’s family always has to suffer mentally, socially and financially.

That is why girl’s were and still are considered a burden.

And it is so cruel of dowry system that it hits the poor the most.


The “dowry” ( gifts, property, money etc) initially was something that girl’s side used to give by their very own will, showing their gratefulness, ascertaining that their daughter stay happy in new home and there be good relationships between the two sides. And boy’s side will accept whatever they give as a gift happily by their heart. Soon it became a trend. And this trend turned into an indispensable part of culture.

The traditional dowry system got converted into a menace creating an institution of greed that oppressed, victimized and suppressed women. Families started looking at the incoming bride as a source of wealth. Marriages stated becoming more of a business deal, where making wealth was easier. Male child became an additional source of income, and female child became a financial burden on the family.

Society in this age is not the same as it used to be, it’s more selfishness now. That gifts are usually demanded now with high selfish expectations.. as a trade for marriage, it is called dowry. Mental pressure is often made on girl and their parents to give what they have demanded or to stand up to their expectations.
This is how it was started.

Measures to overcome/prevent this cruel Act

In India, the payment of a dowry has been prohibited since 1961 under Indian civil law. Subsequently, Sections 304B and 498A of the Indian Penal Code were enacted, making it easier for the wife to seek redress from harassment by the husband’s family.  Although providing dowry is illegal, it is still common in many parts of India for a husband to seek a dowry from the wife’s family.

Awareness should be created through Social media, Newspapers and Radio. Strict actions should be taken against those violating the law.

Givers are culprits not the receivers.

Educate your daughters and make them independents to live freely and happily.


Ref: Dowry Murder: The Imperial Origins of a Cultural Crime, a well researched book by Veena Talwar Oldenburg
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