Dowry & Great Indian shaadi market

Last week, Sheetal Wayal, A 21-year-old girl, committed suicide because her father, an indebted farmer couldn’t bear dowry expenses.

This is the second incident from that same village in which a girl had committed suicide over dowry. Mohini Bhise ended her life about a year ago in a similar fashion. She had left a suicide note, asking, “Why the father of a girl should bow down every time?”

Dowry isn’t a new issue for our society. But it is a new tragic trend where girls are committing suicide solely due to the fear of dowry and the great economic burden it might create on their families.

Despite rapid globalization and liberalization, it is a bitter truth that the social evil called ‘dowry’ is still present in today’s society.

Maharashtra is known for its purogami culture (reformist or forward culture).But these incidences along with a 12th class sociology book { approved by The State Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board which stated that “If a girl is ugly, then it becomes very difficult for her to get married and hence her parents have to pay more dowry” } are enough to raise question about its ‘purogami’ status.

Well, this issue is not constrained to any individual state, it’s problem that almost every family in India is very familiar with.

Though the practice of dowry is publicly condemned and legally banned, it still not only persists but also has taken magnified proportion and has emerged as contemptible social evil.

Picture borrowed from the Internet

The custom of dowry has degraded the sacred institution of marriage to a business transaction. It is the main reason why a young maiden is treated like a saleable commodity.

Demanding dowry is akin to discrediting womanhood. Young men who demand dowry should be excommunicated. Parents of girls should cease to be dazzled by English degrees and should not hesitate to travel outside their little castes and provinces to secure true, gallant young men for their daughters
– Mahatma Gandhi


Gandhi’s advice of socially boycotting the people who make dowry a pre-condition for marriage might be a good solution for this. But it is very very very difficult to implement in Indian society where we consider “Samaj kya kahega” factor in every decision we make.

But we have to abolish dowry system as it is also the root of many more problems.

Many parents choose corruption as a medium to collect money for paying dowry.

Many parents also hesitate to give higher education to their daughter as they have to search for a highly educated boy for marriage and better-educated boy will demand more dowry. In this Great Indian Shaadi market, not only girls are treated like saleable liabilities but there is also a rate card for bachelor men. 2 lakhs for a factory worker, 5 lacks for Police or Army member and 4th-grade government employee, 10 lakhs for horticulture farmer, lawyers take 5 to 10 lakhs, PI, PSI 15 to 20 lakhs, IAS 50 lakhs to 1 crore. And this is really shameful to know that such well-educated people also get involved in such practices.

And also dowry is one of the major reason why many poor families kill their daughter at the stage of fetuses in their mother’s womb.

Problem is that our society treats dowry as a symbol of the reputation of the bridegroom’s parents. We all must have seen many people proudly speaking about how much dowry they have taken/given. Dowry will be closed on the day when people will be ashamed to say such things.

No such paradox has been abolished in a single day, there should be constant efforts to stop dowry system by governmental laws, education and most importantly by the community itself, by degrading the “social prestige” of this evil custom.

Published by Mahesh Mali

Author of 'Reflections of My Youth' | Student @ SPPU | Former Fellow @BeingVolunteer | Freelancer @PlayoApp | Tennis Player

43 thoughts on “Dowry & Great Indian shaadi market

  1. its great when guys like you, write about dowry, it shows everyone is not same. But sadly many boys gladly take dowry, and don’t stop their parents, all in the name of tradition. I hope one day this curse of dowry will end completely, and precious lives will be saved.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, many boys don’t take a stand against dowry because they don’t want to fight with their parents. But I think they MUST take a stand against this even if the girl’s family seems comfortable and willing to disguise the dowry as ‘gifts’ for the sake of their daughter, you must take a stand against it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Seems like a never ending issue. Only men can stop this by refusing to accept dowry but who can resist free money? There should be classes/seminars from school age to sensitize boys to this issue. Girls can take a stand only to a point before they are pressurized by emotional blackmailing by parents and family. Parents are responsible to provide for their kids whether male/female but only up to a point. The onus is not just on girls parents. Once married it’s the couple who are responsible for themselves. Don’t understand why parents or kids wanna keep depending on the other forever. We are all responsible for our selves. Parents should stop spoon feeding as early as possible. IMHO.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like tha way you write about such a social issue. It’s a big issue, but I think in city area now it’s effect is getting lower. Yeah, the rural areas are still facing big problem of dowry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The rural-urban divide may only change the guise under which dowry is accepted, not the practice itself. But, yes I think the effect is getting lower and I hope this change will continue to grow across the country.
      Thank you Ved 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dowry,voices have been raised against this social evil since ages but these voices have been suppressed always.This is one of the major reasons for female infanticide,ignorance of girl child,expectations to have a baby boy and low sex ratio in India.
    This must be abolished completely,by law and by society…But how? Would you like to present some concrete solutions Mahesh?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ● The number of complaints regarding demand for dowry are increasing, but these cases take a long time for the verdict. Also the conviction rate is below 20 % mostly because of absence of concrete evidence. So, some change has to come within the judicial system.

      ● For long run, we should consider inducing mutual respect for women in children at home and school. And abolishing sex discrimination will ultimately help in reducing cases of female infanticide,deaths due to dowry, rapes etc.

      ● It must be made mandatory to let girls do schooling for at least higher secondary so that they can get a descent job to become financially independent.

      ● And the most important factor which might become a great tool against this is Public awareness and public participation. People should not keep quiet if they found any such case.
      These cases might also get affected with low conviction rate. But their complaint may save an innocent from being harassed or burned to death.

      These small steps and methods might help in eradicating dowry system in our society. But such things won’t happen in a single day or overnight.

      It is the responsibility and duty of young generation to eradicate such problems. So, Pratishtha I think we, the youth of India must start taking stand against this. We should talk and bring out the shame asscociated with such henious practices…


  5. Very well written on an issue that has widely been criticised however has not decreased despite our continuous “so called” efforts.You have perfectly described the problem along with it’s consequences.Looking forward to reading your other articles.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s not only dowry but lavish spending and show offs in marriages. Special treatment to groom all life give respect without money and valuables. And don’t make or treat him like God. The entire thought process needs to evolve. It’s across all sectors of our society. Nice write up to spread awareness

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. The lavish spendings in marriages is also an issue. Some rich families do all these things to show off their wealth but problem is that “ladke wale” expect same extravaganza from brides’ side no matter what their economic condition is…

      Anyway, Thank you Subhash ji for sharing your opinion 😇

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you so much for addressing a sensitive issue like this on your blog. The other day I was telling an African friend about the same and I was so shocked anf surprised to hear that the males in some parts of Africa have to give the dowry. Isnt that amazing ? A person ie already giving them a girl, a gift whom they have brought up with utmost care and love, should it be the boy’s family who should pay for taking a daughter away from her mummy papa? Im really happy to read your blog. Keep up the good work Mahesh ♡

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Ms.Tajwar for sharing your views 😊
      Well, I appreciate your opinion that boy’s family should pay. but that too will be against the law. As Receiving or giving dowry or helping someone receive a dowry are all offences according to the law in India. { The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 }

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am not in favour of anyone giving a dowry. I suggested that It is such a sweet gesture on the part of the African groom family’s side to value and appreciate the bride and her family !

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Terrible thing, that need to eliminate . Indian gov should do something against this dowry collectors..
    Its a violation of human rights… I’m sure educated boys will never demand for dowry…
    Why don’t you run a public campaign against this uncivilized act ..

    Liked by 1 person

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