Marriage is an integral part of society, a source of joy and festival as well as of a new beginning. One of the longest standing evils associated with marriage is dowry. Dowry is the dark side of Indian weddings. Dowry means the money, land, property which a woman brings to her husband at times of marriage. Originally it was given voluntarily by the parents as a share of the girls in the property. It was also aimed at assisting a newly-wedded couple to set up an established of their own. Gradually this practice of voluntary gift is changed into a public demand. The dowry system can put a great financial burden on the bride’s family. Nowadays, no marriage can be settled without setting the dowry after hard bargaining. In many cases, cash is demanded in advance.
A girl is considered a liability and a cause of worry to her parents. The father should run about in search of a suitable match for his daughter. He should be ready to pay huge amounts of money as a dowry. This will place the parents in stages of tension and strain. Many families are ruined on account of this evil. Sometimes, too sensitive girls commit suicide to relieve the burden of the parents. It is a slur on our society.
Dowry is a mark of greed and selfishness. If the desired amount of dowry isn’t given, the newly wedded bride is tortured and sometimes beaten up to death. The government has also taken many steps to check this evil. The youth of the country, both boys and girls, should take a pledge to eradicate this evil. Unless or until such a movement comes, it cannot be removed completely.