Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Hypocrites Oath

Harshita, the house nurse that we had engaged for Ajja, was telling me that she is going to be married soon. But the guy's side has asked for a dowry of 1 lakh rupees and 15g gold. She related this in a calm manner, without any feelings of animosity towards that guy and his family who have, thus, encumbered them. She said that she was working so that she could earn some money and help her widowed mother in adjusting the dowry amount. I was flabbergasted!! Here was this guy who was getting this beautiful, smart, witty, vivacious girl as his wife, and on top of that, he was asking for money!! And, wasn't she offended by that? I, personally, feel that it is so very humiliating for a girl, that a guy has to be bribed with dowry so that he accepts her as his wife. I mean, he is getting a lovely life partner, is n't that good enough? He is able-bodied and working, so, can't he earn enough!! But, well, whom to complain to? I told her, that taking dowry is punishable under law, why don't you tell him that? But she says, that in her community, it is but common to give / take dowry. And, whom all will they send to jail!!

I then thought... what about the "so-called-educated-urbane" people? Of course, they don't ask for "dowry" per se. They just ask politely "Chelliyeke kitle bhangara ghaltachi?" [how much gold/ jewelry will you put on the girl at the time of the marriage? ] Some even blatantly list the items they expect. Other times, it is unsaid, but implied and , always, done. Also, it is a status question that the marriage should be grand, and, always, people compare one marriage with the other - the grandness of the hall, the variety of items in the banquet, the richness of the clothes - and, of course, the jewelry!! Among Kannadigas, they also have a corner designated in the hall, where the girl's family proudly exhibits all the silver articles, and gifts that they are giving to the guy's side.

These hypocrites are the ones who have kept the system alive. They condemn it in public, but, practise it secretly. When will people really think out of the box, get rid of the avarice and, frankly, respect the girl they are welcoming into their family as a person and realise that she is just as important as the guy, and, if they are taking money with her, the girl's family who are sending away their beloved daughter, have twice the right to ask them for reimbursement?? Will the scenes where a girl says she will not marry a guy who takes dowry remain restricted to soaps and movies, or is it going to be a mass movement in the nation? It is only if that happens, that better sense might prevail .

4 comments:

Ram said...

I guess dowry started out as a way to help the groom's family, as they have one more mouth to feed. But, in the present society and circumstances, it is surely a bane.

Tallur said...

Hmm... bias against dowry... one shouldn't be lead by such a bias to make too much out of innocent inquiries at times though...

Bastet said...

@ram

Well, true, they had one more mouth to feed, at the same time, they had another pair of hands to help out - in the fields, kitchen, etc. Maybe you are right, but, you know, in very early times, there was also, Vadhu-dakshina. They guy's family would give some gifts, and even money to the girl's parents, to impress them and get a good bride for their son. I mean, the girl's parents had to know they were capable of looking after her, right? Don't know when Vadhu dakshina became vara-dakshina. Anyway, both seem meaningless and baneful to me! :)

@Sid baab

What point are you trying to make? Don't be so oblique! I didn't get ya!

Tallur said...

@CB

That was the point!