Dowry system is an age-old custom in India. It clings like a curse to our society. It extends to all sections of the society, irrespective of creed and caste. Like other customs, the custom of giving dowry at the time of a girl’s marriage had a noble cause behind it. In the past, girls weren’t granted any share in their paternal property. So, by way of compensation, they were offered dowries at the time of their marriage. Moreover, the things offered in dowry were such as are essential for the young couple to set up their new home. But, unfortunately, today, giving dowry has become a social obligation. The poor father of the bride has to beg or borrow or sell his property, but he must arrange dowry for his daughter. Alas, today bridegrooms are auctioned like commodities in the market! A dowry of lakhs of rupees isn’t an uncommon thing today. The parents of the highly educated boys try to extract the cost of their ward‘s higher education from the bride‘s parents. The commercial character of the present-day marriages has neither ethical nor moral sanction. The evil of dowry system has already ruined many families. Many girls commit suicide when they see their parents oppressed with the problem of arranging dowries for them or when they are unable to bear the taunts of their mothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, and even their husbands. Even it is a pity that decades after the passing of the central legislation against the evil of dowry system, it still continues to persist in most parts of the country. I think the only way to curb this evil once and for all is that the young boys and girls must form a joint front against dowry, and the young girls, in particular, must not marry the dowry seekers.
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