Dowry is a serious social problem deeply rooted in Indian societies. The dowry could be anything from money to clothing to even household goods a bride brings from her natal home to the home of her husband especially on the occasion of her marriage. Despite the fact that most people nowadays are highly educated, yet dowry is prevalent in our society.
Origin of Dowry
It is very difficult to trace the exact time period when people adopted the dowry as a tradition. However, it looks like dowry could have started in the time when women were deprived of their rights.
It is very difficult to trace the origin of dowry. However, in my opinion, it looks like dowry could have started a very long time ago. Women that we see today who compete for a shoulder to shoulder with men were not treated equally in earlier civilizations. They were deprived of their rights. Some women even had to burn themselves alive the moment their husbands died. This silly practice was later abolished.
That was the condition of women in earlier civilizations. Think for a moment, when you are deprived of your rights, what you do is that you either try to protest or you try to prove your worth by giving bribe or something of equal nature so that you get back your rights. Similarly, women bring in dowry to prove their worth. That is not something they feel proud of doing but our society has forced them to do so.
Impact of Dowry
Dowry has resulted in many negatives. One of the ill effects of dowry, especially noticed in urban regions, is that there are many women who live an unmarried life. In fact, some cases of women who never had the opportunity to get married have been reported in urban areas. Getting married is the right of every man, and woman. However, when we ask for dowry, we actually are depriving women of their fundamental rights.
When women don’t get access to marriage life, they get involved in many anti-social activities. One of the examples is the exploitation of sex by the rich people. People leave no stone unturned in giving them bad names in their communities without realizing their contribution to their condition.
The dowry could also weaken the financial condition of people which affects the development of society as a whole. Even in many cases where families had to sell their properties and were forced to live a rental life have been reported as well.
Dowry degrades the living standards of people, which in turn makes them get involved in theft, beggary, etc. Dowry also leads to mental disturbance, which is a big loss to society since the production efficiency of people is adversely affected.
Dealing with Dowry
Dowry is like an addiction. It can’t be rooted out at a time. Dowry can dry up from our society on the condition we kill its causes. Education is a vital tool that influences people. Social and religious institutions and even media could be used for that purpose. Children have to be taught about their negatives in our societies. Publishing regularly in a newspaper is another way out to educate people.