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It’s only after dowry deaths that we wake up, every time. If the woman in question had broken her marriage because of the obvious problems, we’d have said she didn’t ‘adjust enough’.
Archana 24, wife of Suresh, a plumber by profession was found at night with burn injuries- her marital family had demanded share in property as dowry.
Vismaya, a 24-year-old Ayurveda student wife of Kumar, an Inspector with the motor vehicles department was found hanging, she was harassed over demands for a luxury car as the one gifted to her was worth just Rs 10 lakh, her parents had gifted their daughter over 100 sovereigns of gold and one-acre land, too.
Suchitra, 19 year old, newly wed woman, married this March to Army officer Vishnu, was found dead at the house of her husband in Alappuzha under suspicious circumstances.
Death of 3 women married to men from 3 different social classes – a plumber, a government official, and an army man, but all of them united in greed and violent mindsets.
We’re a dead society if violence and atrocities against women are normalized to become a way of life and remain as headliners for newspapers or police records, debates for primetime shows and political parties as if nothing could shake our collective conscience anymore.
Dowry has no religious or cultural connotation to it as no prayer book, mythology or religious text subscribes to paying bridal price for a boy in holy matrimony. If people have gone ahead it’s only because it’s easy to control society in the name of ‘religion’ and ‘tradition’.
Yet, dowry cuts across all religions, castes and communities, and is rampant among all in the name of roka, dahej, hunda, streedhan,… where huge amount of cash, gold and jewellery, vehicles, property, land are traded in marriage. In fact, it’s the most convenient and established way for a boy’s family to get rich and every ‘boy’ has a price tag in the bazaar be it canteen boy, professionals, sarkari babu, businessman, or politician. Nothing’s ever free in a ‘love’ or ‘arranged’ marriage and it’s a misconception that it doesn’t happen among elite or educated class.
Is it because we’re less educated or not aware about our rights? Is it because we lack family and social support for our cause? Or is it because we’re not worth anything but our wombs and easily replaceable? Because men accused of the most heinous or gruesome crimes – dowry deaths – are easily forgiven enough to get a girl, however widows or divorcees have a hard time getting a second chance in life.
Many theories abound as to how the women in question “should have handled their dowry problems”, unfortunately, we always see wisdom in the hindsight – had the women jumped ship, they would have been accused of “not adjusting enough” as rarely are the men held responsible for breaking marriages…it’s always about HER.
Can matrimony be considered holy, if the sacred fire is ultimately going to consume your daughters through dowry deaths? Get your daughters out of the sacrificial pit before it’s too late.
Why should the mangalsutra or tali be holy or pavitra, if it’s going to ultimately strangle her to death, rather set her free?
Why do you want a ‘marriage until death do us apart’ for your daughter, if she’s is living with the killer himself?
Why do we’d rather be saving the marriage, when we should be saving our daughters, instead?
Your daughter is irreplaceable and invaluable, she deserves her rightful dignity in life and death then why should divorce be more shameful than an undignified marriage where a woman is killed, burnt, strangulated for mere money?
Ask yourself. Today.
Image source: YouTube – screenshots from Mathrubhumi News
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