The Dowry Species
Just imagine if selling cocaine or brown sugar was not a crime but possessing and consuming was, then the solution would be so imperfect and imbalanced. So is this problem of Dowry. It is not just a problem from one side. It is triggered from both the ends from the boy’s side as well as girl's side. When I write this statement I exempt those families who never took or gave dowry. But my targets are the ones who encouraged the 'give and take' (len-den), I would call them “The Dowry Species”.
My antennas have been sharp on certain issues since I have experienced the bitter side of my marriage only to realize how vulnerable and ignorant families like mine are and how cunning is this world. In my office since I get many management trainees most of them now in their marriageable age. Most of the time I get a chance to become their professional mentor in their 1st job (poor souls ;-)) Jokes apart, but generally we land up being good confidants of each other and that big brother factor is always prevailing on them most of the times (My good luck).
That is where often I get caught up with some female trainees candidly discussing their marriage preparations that they would require to do. Some of them also belong to a samaj were dowry problem is prevalent. That is where I still give them the example of my estranged half’s smart and bold thinking of marrying outside her dowry circle and get someone of her choice and also does not burden her family for wrong reasons. A point of view that I still support.
I realize that Dowry is basically all about Flaunting Status on both the sides, but who would be impressed with such flaunts? The ones who are, show their levels of thinking, this also reminds me of the day when words like ‘len-den’ were very new and offensive in my Gujarati Jain circle during my marriage, it was a first love marriage outside the circle. When my father responded my FIL on len-den that only the girl will come to our house and the rest money that he had budgeted should be used for the business of the girls’ younger brothers. I still remember my Father-in-laws face, it spoke volumes about his happiness and it was our pleasure to see that relief, as those marvadi circles are known for last minute surprises in such cases.
Why I call this as a flaunt because, that day one Ex-employee of my office Ms.Renu (name changed), who had just visited the office for meeting up with her ex-colleagues, whom I was not acquainted with, also joined in the discussion and she added pompously the dowry that her father gave during her marriage which held the record in her circle to be the highest. She said it included Rs.4,00,000/- worth of cash. Plus other branded lifestyle equipments and the list went on blah blah. Guess what ? Both are happy have a kid and this lady is happily flaunting this dowry and no 498a question. So are some guys that I have seen who flaunt their price as per the qualification, job. I am still slow in understanding this logic. How can you live with a person who prices the whole bloody relation?
Clearly, a status exhibition from both sides. I am convinced that it is also a competitive topic discussed among the relatives on either side by comparing the respective give and take of dowry and thus claiming their status. Why Crime does not come in this scene? Infact since my marriage was minus Dowry and no show-sha from ourside, I suspect that it was declared as status less by the some ill wishing jealous marvadi confidants of the girls side. Because, rather than making a dowry less marriage as a status symbol, my confused half was also lost in deciding what was right? Where as in my circle Dowry has never existed. My mom, bhabhis never bought anything neither did my sisters had to give anything. They got all from the in-laws.
But my argument is, look Renu’s marriage (there are plenty of such marriages), it was a lavish marriage, dowry existed. And based on testimonials of the relatives they are living happily. But had the same marriage marred with some arguments then may be girls side would have had an upper hand of accusing the guys side to be claiming dowry, like in most of the cases. Where as, my marriage being simple from our side gave a misinterpretation for the girl as an insult to considering them incapable of handling large numbers and demands. Silly.
I feel in Dowry marriages, both are at fault and the system is at a bigger fault who should ban Dowry so that there is no room for dispute else these Dowry species would still exist on either side who would make Dowry as a status symbol either ways and the actual victims would continue to suffer.
If this dowry system is not abolished at the root, then Case 3 Rakshash would continue to exploit Sita and her family. And the Case 4 Surpanakha’s crew would terrorise the entire family of Ram for False Dowry. Or may be by doing so, these species still flaunt their status for 2nd kill.
Where as Case 2 Rakshash and Surpanakha would flaunt the same Dowry on either side in the name of Status, and the problems would still exist and laws will be misused, and IPC Section 498a will not serve its correct purpose.