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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'.
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’.
Trigger Warning: This has domestic violence and dowry harassment and may be triggering for a survivor.
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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Before expecting the daughter in law to love, respect and accept the new family, it is only fair that the family demonstrates all of these first.
If you are a married Indian woman, one of the first words you hear from your in laws is that you are now a daughter of the house. How true is that statement though? Are daughters in law really treated as daughters or is this only lip service?
A friend recently confided how hurt she felt when she wanted to visit her in-laws along with her husband but was told not to, because the in-laws wanted time alone with their son. Naturally, she was taken aback since she had always been fed this trope – that she was the daughter, not the daughter in law. Why then this sudden keeping at arm’s distance? Would a son in law ever be told not to accompany his wife on her visit to her parents because they wanted quality time with their daughter? That is unimaginable in a patriarchal society.
It is ok to want time alone with the married offspring but how does that meld into the Indian family system, where independent choices are less important than the whole family coming together?
My husband returns home tired after working & travelling. I, like other working women, return home refreshed after enjoying full day at office!
I am a working woman and mother of a 2 year old daughter. People say I am irresponsible and lazy because I have a house-help.
Yes, I’m irresponsible and don’t have any work. Except checking what groceries needs to be refilled and ordering them for home delivery, washing my and my husband’s clothes, drying and folding them, getting the work-wear clothes ironed, keeping clothes in place, cleaning bathrooms and toilets, changing bedsheets, dusting windows occasionally, hand washing my daughter’s soiled clothes in hot water, bathing my daughter twice, feeding my daughter breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Rest other work like cooking and house cleaning done by the house-help and my husband takes care of getting fruits and vegetables from the market every week. So I don’t have any work except those few mentioned earlier.
Let's hold accountable the husbands and in-laws who callously murder women when dissatisfied with the dowry, and parents who raise daughters to be 'good wives and daughters in law'.
Vismaya dowry death – let’s hold accountable the husbands and in-laws who callously murder women when dissatisfied with the dowry, and parents who raise daughters to be ‘good wives and daughters in law’.
*Trigger Warning: This has domestic violence and graphic description of violence against women, and may be triggering for survivors.
On 21st of June, 24-year-old Vismaya Nair was found having seemingly died by suicide in her husband Kiran Kumar’s home in Kollam, Kerala.
Does the change of surname after marriage play into the acceptance of women as now belonging to a new family, with no responsibilities to her natal family?
Does the change of surname post marriage play into the acceptance of women as now belonging to a new family, with no responsibilities to her natal family?
Last November, when I was travelling to Delhi from Nagpur, on my way I met a beautiful family of four in the train. It was a couple who had married early, along with their four year old son and the two year old daughter ‘Gudiya’. The family was going to their hometown in Rajasthan from Chennai, the place where the father used to work as a labourer in a marble factory.
Gudiya was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. Her beautiful big round eyes full of kajal made her look even more beautiful. The kids happily mingled with me and were enjoying my company. On a two day journey to Delhi the kids spent most of their time with me since the time they met me at Nagpur. The parents were happily freed of their continuously annoying kids at least for some time!