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The Problematic ‘Tradition’ Of Dowry That Most Indians Have In Common!

Posted: January 30, 2021

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The practise of dowry, despite being illegal, is such a common phenomenon in India even today! Let me tell you how it is a business deal.

India is a democratic, secular and a ‘developing’ country. Here, we speak several different languages. However, there is one thing all of us Indians have in common. Do you want to know what it is? Let me tell you!

I have heard a lot of people say, ‘Not everyone can do business,’ but I disagree with that statement. With my experience, I can tell you that every human with a logical mind has some experience with doing business.

Everyone has done it at least once. However, I believe that the biggest business deals are those of marriages. And I am not just talking about arranged marriages, even love marriages are nothing but major business deals.

So let’s get down to the rules of this business called dowry. All of these rules are based on the experiences I have seen and had. These may change according to different families. And while people are doing their best to stop this tradition it still continues in our society.

How the ‘rules’ of dowry work

The day your parents start thinking of your marriage, first comes the analysis of your education. Apparently, the more educated you are, the better are the chances of you in the marriage market. And if you are a guy, it literally translates to better ‘rates.’ (Yes, ‘rates,’ because when asking for dowry, the girl becomes a commodity).

Then comes the job. If you have a decently paying job, it’s okay. But if you have a high paying job, you are good. It’s even better if you have a government job. But if you have a job in the UK or the US or even Europe, you are a catch. This has just doubled your dowry. But all of this is applicable only to the men.

Then comes settling down – flat, car, other properties. For the bride, it is counted as a part of a dowry, for the guy, it adds on to the dowry you get.

Some more dowry ‘rules’

Any past relationships decrease the dowry rate for the guy and increase what the girl or her family should give. Therefore, I believe many people hide such facts.

This is followed by where the couple stays. Depending on what the girl’s parents want, the dowry is increased or decreased. If they want the couple to stay away from the in-laws, the often dowry increases.

The girl needs to know how to cook food and if she can cook really well the dowry amount decreases. Meanwhile, a working woman can get some ‘EMI benefits.’ She needs to give a good dowry and pay the rest from her salary all her life.

Oh! I forgot an important point here. Fair-skinned girls are usually more in ‘demand,’ and they get a discount on their dowry money. But if there is a fair-skinned guy, the dowry rate only increases. (More of demand and supply problem. I am sure people from the economics background can explain it better.)

Let’s stop this practice immediately, shall we?

If the potential groom has any ‘beauty flaws,’ the dowry demand also differs. For example, if the groom is short or wears glasses, the dowry decreases. And if the bride has either of these, the dowry increases.

Now this business deal, that of dowry, is one of the most illegal and frequent crimes in India. It is committed by families across the country, regardless of their religious and financial backgrounds. Looks like I have definitely found the one thing that all Indians have in common.

I know a lot of people who detest the practice of dowry but ended up falling prey to it due to familial pressures. So ladies and gentlemen, let’s try and eradicate this practice. Dowry is that one thing we all have in common and it is nothing to be proud of!

Picture credits: Still from Hindi TV series Ghum Hain Kisikay Pyaar Mein

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