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Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Blind Eye to Injustice...

DOWRY...quoting from Wikipedia…“A dowry (also known as trousseau or tocher or, in Latin, dos) is the money, goods, or estate that a woman brings to her husband in marriage”…even though dowry is a criminal offense, the practice of giving and taking dowry still prevails in my home country…the dowry came in forms of gold, vehicles, money, property etc according to the demands of the groom or his family…uhmm…I myself have seen people bargaining as if they were buying a cow from the market… “Our son will marry your daughter if you give 100sovereign gold, one car and 2 lakhs in cash…” Haaaaaaaaa!!! What a dirty practice… there have been very regular cases of abuses of the bride at her husband’s house if the dowry was not properly given…Ok , now that’s a very serious issue on which I wouldn’t want to have a discussion now…but the story I am going to say here is very short and simple…

This might seem funny for us…but what might have gone through the people who had to face this situation is something we can never even imagine…This is not one of my personal experience…but a real life incident happened in a village area, where my father grew up…I heard this story when once my grandmom was quoting this incident to some one while they were having a discussion on Dowry…

This happened in the backdrop of a village on top of a mountain…around the 70’s…. I was not even born then, so naturally I couldn’t witness this incident myself…There was a poor farmer in my grandmom’s village who had three daughters…after exhaustive extensive search, finally they found a suitable groom for the elder daughter…(suitable here should mean a groom whose demand was the most feasible than a whole lot…) THE DEAL WAS FIXED…(that’s what I would like to explain it as…)…the marriage was fixed once it was promised that the father will give a fixed amount as cash and gold and a part of his land property….anyways…after much prayers of the girl’s parents, the marriage was solemnized…the bride and groom left for the boy’s house…

Now back home, there is a post-marriage custom where the bride’s family would visit the Bride’s New House (that is the groom’s house)…this ritual is usually done on the same day or the next day…and it is expected that the bride’s family should take with them some gifts tooooooo (after all the expenses for the marriage this just added to the financial liabilities)…What ever…. The girl’s family was happy that atleast one of their daughter got married…and they set out for their daughter’s new house…they reached the place and was just about to step into the house…and….

Ahaaa…there…on the walls of the house…right near the front door…hung some gold ornaments…they recognized the ornaments...they were the very ornaments their daughter wore for the marriage the earlier day…the father of the bride started sweating…he knew, his worst nightmare was about to start…he was going to get insulted sooner than he expected….

Now what happened was…the father couldn’t arrange enough gold as he had promised the groom’s family… to avoid the marriage getting called off, the father bought some artificial ornaments…which looked like gold but was not gold in real…he calculation was to exchange them with real gold as soon as he could arrange enough money to buy them…But, unfortunately… the groom’s family was cunning enough…the very night of the girl’s marriage, she was asked to remove the ornaments and give it to her mother-in-law…and then they checked with a goldsmith if the ornaments equated to the amount the girl’s father promised…and naturally, they found out the truth…

For the girl, that night was worse than words could explain and surely did her family too went through lot of insult and harsh words… and above all, they refused to accept the girl anymore…they ordered the girl’s family to take their daughter back with them…

What happened after this to the girl or his family is still unknown to me… but I remember, those days, when I heard this story from my granny, I was laughing…laughing on the thought of seeing the ornaments hanging on the wall…I was more attracted to the embarrassment the family might have gone thru…as if it was some sort of a prank...I couldn't understand the pain or sorrow, they could have gone through…

Today, I am grown up…I realise what the girl might have suffered…especially in those days when GIRLS had no say to make any decisions on their own…what choice could she have had... all she would have done was cry in silence... could she ever go against everybody and fight back for the shame she was made to go through...I don't know...I wish and hope that if I could save atleast one girl from the evil pangs of this system called Dowry, then I would consider myself worthy enough to live in this world…and I really hope every man and woman stand up and raise their voice against this criminal offense and work towards eradicating this practice once and for all….

Always remember, by giving or taking Dowry, we are turning into criminals...we are just being another offender of rules and regulations...another law violater...we are giving nothing other than...

"A Blind Eye to this Injustice..."

2 comments:

Penny Manning said...

That was very engrossing, JZT . . . how humiliating that experience for the girl. Her groom and In-laws must have yelled and badgered her something awful--called her and her parents countless names. I hope they did not hit her! Thank you for sharing the story. I have always felt the Dowry system to be a bit odd and heart-wrenching. Now, I am more certain then ever.

Love your header. I look forward to reading more. May I post a link to this site on my blog?

If you have time, please visit my blog where I share stories of my childhood in America...Very long accounts but all true: http://trying2findrene.wordpress.com

Jzt 4 me... said...

Thanks a lot for the comment Penny...Glad to know that u could understand the grossness in such systems...

U can surely post my blog in your site. That would be an encouragement to me to share with you all my life experiences...

I have already clicked on to your site...would slowly read the full blog...and would surely let u know my comments...

Thanks