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Why is it okay if the guy spends lakhs on his family but not okay if his wife buys something for her family with her own hard-earned money?
Varataṭcaṇai, Dahej, Hunda, Katnam, Yautuka are all synonyms for dowry. In India the dowry culture is pretty prevalent, but with the new generation a different, more sneaky variety of this culture is being seen.
Dowry is currently illegal in India, but even now many people openly demand dowry even though it is punishable by law. Some of our supposedly law abiding citizens have found another way to ask for dowry, or should I say grab it?
Find a working woman as your daughter-in-law and take her salary. You may think – how much would that be? But let’s take the example of a woman working in the IT sector and do the calculations.
Considering the IT culture and their packages, let’s say the woman has a current package of 10 lakhs, in 5 years she will get 5 increments taking it to say 13-14 lakhs pa. Now say that after subtracting the taxes in 5 years, the groom’s family would get somewhere around 45-50 lakhs without investing anything except just marrying the girl. In 10 years that amount would easily be 1.2-1.5 crores.
Who would even think of this much dowry? But see the mathematical geniuses in India have calculated it all!
There are many cases I know where the woman has to hand over her earning details to her husband or in-laws immediately after marriage. If she doesn’t do it willingly they will torture her until she breaks down (or worse case leaves, which I feel is the better option for her).
What I don’t understand is – when society shames the men who ‘survive on their wives income’, then why can’t they also shame the families that take dowry like this?
I am not going to opine on what the daughter in law should do with her salary, but if she earns it shouldn’t she too have a say in how it’s spent?
Why is it wrong if she wants to spend that money to buy something for her parents?
Why is it okay if the guy spends lakhs on his family but not okay if his wife buys something for her family with her own hard-earned money? Of course because that will decrease the amount they can appropriate. And this mentality reverses as soon as they are talking about their own daughter.
All this happening under the umbrella of ‘tradition’ or ‘sanskaar’, should be recognised by law as illegal, and all these wolves should be jailed. Waiting for that day to come.
Image source: a still from Hindi serial Anupamaa
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