GHANSHYMDAS SARAF COLLEGE COLLEGE OF ARTS AND COMMERCE SUBJECT:-Research Methods In Business STD:- SYBMS „B‟ TOPIC:- Dowry system.
Group Members NAME ROLL NO.SANJOLY BHAGARIA 15KUSUM PARMAR 65MADHUSHREE RANGREJ 77THRAPTI SHETTY 91JINAL SOLANKI 98KAJAL SINGH YADAV 110
AcknowledgmentWe have taken efforts in this project. However, it would not have been possiblewithout the kind support and help of PROF.Rashmi. We would like to extend mysincere thanks to her.We highly indebted to her, for their guidance and constant supervision as well asfor providing necessary information regarding the project & also for the support incompleting the project.We would like to express our gratitude towards our parents & member of for theirkind co-operation and encouragement which help in completion of this project.Our thanks and appreciations also go to my colleague in developing the project andpeople who have willingly helped me out with their abilities.
Index Topic Page noHistory. 1Wad the dowry is? 2-3Introduction to dowry. 4Ancient marriage rites in the vedic period. 5-6List of amending acts. 7-10Penalty for demanding dowry. 11-15Reasons for dowry increase. 16-19Dowry prohibition. 20The way forward. 21Skit 22-24Conclusion 25
HistoryIn India dowry (known as Daheji in Hindhi) is the payment in cash or some kind ofgifts given to bridegrooms family along with the bride. Generally they includecash, jewellery electrical appliances, furniture, bedding, crockery, utensils andother household items that help the newly-wed set up her home.In India the dowry system has been putting great financial burden on the daughtersfamily. It has been one of the reasons for families and women in India resortingto sex selection favoring to have a son. This has distorted the sex ratio of the India(933 females per thousand males )and have given rise to female foeticide. Thepayment of a dowry has been prohibited under The 1961 Dowry ProhibitionAct in Indian civil law and subsequently by Sections 304B and 498a of the IndianPenal Code (IPC).Dowry originated in the upper caste families as an insurance to the bride to takecare of herself and her children during crisis. The rich and rajas (kings) used to giftland as dowry. Mumbai was presented as part of the dowry when PrincessCatherine de Braganza of Portugal was married to King Charles II in 1661. Thedowry has been considered as Stridhan where stri means women and dhanmeans wealth.
What the dowry is?Dowry (dahej) is one of the most ancient practices of India. Punishment Dowrysystem is as old as man is. The dowry system is a social evil. It is prevalent in allparts of India and almost in all the countries of the world. In India many of thetraditional customs have been given up, but the custom of dowry has It is the cash,precious jewellery and other important thing given to the daughter in her marriage.This evil is found in almost every community . Now dowry is demanded by thegroom‟s parents and marriage takes place only if a certain amount of dowry is paidby the bride‟s parents. Today dowry is given as compensation to the groom‟s Indiais suffering from many social evils and superstitions. Dowry System is one ofthem.Parents ask for the amount they have spent in educating and upbringing their son.It is also considered a status symbol, especially in the high class, and generally theitems of dowry are flaunted and hyped by both parties. Many young womencommit suicide because of this system. Their parents can not collect the requiredfund. To fulfill the demands of the girl‟s in laws they borrow money or evensometimes they put their property on mortgage. It has become truly difficult to findthe suitable match for the girl without giving the demanded dowry. Nowadays,marriage has become a kind of business and misuse of girls parents. The parentsthose boys are highly educated and getting handsome package demand enormousdowry for marriage of their son. The demand of dowry is according to thequalification of the boy. Even today when there are broad minded people still thesystem of dowry has not being abolished. Marriages are longer the combination ofhearts; it is just the kind of business transaction. Even the rich parents of the boydo no feel shame in begging dowry. The system of dowry in India is a very seriousmatter and a black spot on the Indian society. Except India the dowry system is notfound in any other country. From this it could be easily observed that the womenare not treated equally and fairly as men. After marriage also they are treated badlyand harassed by her in laws for dowry. And still there is no end of it.Dowry system is against the law of equality between man and woman. Todaydowry is considered as the crime, both giving and taking. Thousands of cases hasbeing observed every year but only few of them put to court for not only
continued, but flourished over the years. Even in the old age the dowry system wasin vogue and dowry was used as means for striking a good match. In due coursedowry became an integral part of the marriage institution and is generally acceptedBy the socity as necessary evil.custom of dowry has become widespread. Even before the marriage, the amount tobe given as dowry is discussed and settled with the change of time. The contents ofdowry have undergone a great change. The boy‟s parents openly demand moneyand other items which include car, scooter, fridge, colourT.V. etc. The rate ofdowry changes according to the qualification of the boy. There are “rates” fixed forI.A.S.,I.P.S., P.C.S., I.E.S. officers and qualified engineers and doctors. In fact, aregular marriage cannot be held and a marriage without dowry is almostunthinkable.Why this social evil prevail in India?There are several reasons for the prevalence of the dowry system, but the main oneis that it is a necessary precondition for marriage. “No dowry, no marriage,” is awidespread fear.. The price tag for the groom is now bigger and bolder. Familiesarrange most marriages, and a man who does not marry for love learns he canmarry for possessions. For this man, and his family, a woman becomes the ticket toshortcut riches through the system of dowry. There are a number of things peopledesire to have in their own houses but cannot afford; they use the opportunity of ason‟s marriage to get them. The girl‟s parents do not protest against thIs, as theyregard it as a stepping-stone towards higher social status and better matches for theremaining children. Now the guy who is to be married is sold in the market. Itseems that the people put their bets on the guys and who will bet more cam marrytheir daughter to him.
Introduction to DowryThe basic definition of dowry have remained unclear. As discussed by Menski(1998), there are definitely several concepts of dowry which interlink with eachother.Some writers have defined dowry as wealth given to a daughter at her marriage forcontributing to the practical life of the newly married couple. They are transfersgiven from parents to the daughter to take with her into marriage. Technically, theproperty belongs to the wife and ought to stay within her control, though thehusband usually has rights of management. Corresponding to the spirit of thedowry institution, dowry given to a wife ought to form part of the conjugal estate,to be enjoyed by husband and wife and to be transmitted in time to their children(Tambiah, 1973).Another definition to dowry is the property a woman brings to the marriagepartnership. In this meaning, dowry can be the dowry a bride receives from herparents, property she previously inherited and brings to the marriage, or propertyshe owns as a widow and brings when she remarries (Nazzari, 1991; Birge, 2002).Dowry has also been referred to as a gift or transfer by a brides family to thegroom or his family at the time of marriage. Dowry as bequest have given way togroomprice, a direct transfer to the groom, in numerious historical instances(Anderson, 2007). This form of transfer has been termed by M. N. Srinivas,leading Indian Sociologist, as "new dowry" (Menski, 1998) and Anderson (2003)as "real dowry payments". Studies have shown that the crux of the dowry problemappears to lie with this particular concept of dowry (Menski, 1998; Dalmia andLawrence, 2005, etc.).
Ancient Marriage Rites In The VedicPeriodThe ancient marriage rites in the Vedic period are associated with Kanyadan. It is laiddown in Dharamshastara that the meritorious act of Kanyadan is not complete till thebridegroom was given a dakshina. So when a bride is given over to the bridegroom, hehas to be given something in cash or kind which constitute varadakshina. ThusKanyadan became associated with varadakshina i.e. the cash or gifts in kind by theparents or guardian of the bride to the bridegroom. The varadakshina was offered out ofaffection and did not constitute any kind of compulsion or consideration for themarriage. It was a voluntary practice without any coercive overtones. In the course oftime, the voluntary element in dowry has disappeared and the coercive element hascrept in. it has taken deep roots not only in the marriage ceremony but also post-maritalrelationship. What was originally intended to be a taken dakshina for the bridegroomhas now gone out of proportions and has assumed the nomenclature dowry.The social reformers of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries have strivenhard for the abolition of various social evils including the evil of dowry system.Long before India gained independence, then the provincial Government of Sindpassed an enactment known as "Sind Deti Leti Act, 1939" with a view to dealeffectively with the evils of dowry system but the enactment had neither anyimpact nor could create the desired effect. During the last few decades the evils ofdowry system has taken an acute form in almost all parts of the country and inalmost all the sections of society. In a bid to eradicate this evil from the society, theState Governments of Bihar and Andhra Pradesh enacted "The Bihar DowryRestraint Act, 1950" and "The Andhra Pradesh Dowry Prohibition Act, 1958" forthe respective States, but both these enactments failed to achieve the objectives forwhich they were enacted.Causes for the System of Dowry in India
The factors and forces responsible for the practice of dowry in India are: earlymarriages for girls, limited field of marriage, hypergamy, patriarchy, importance ofeducation a false sense of prestige, materialistic attitude and economic prosperity.Consequences of the of Dowry SystemThe consequences or demerits of dowry system include: female infanticide, latemarriages for some girls, unsuitable matches for girls, lowering of womens status,breakdown of marriage, unhappy married life, tension between two families,increase in immorality, increase in mental diseases, suicide and impoverishment ofmiddle class families by paying heavy dowries and a large number of dowrydeaths.
List Of Amending Acts1. The Dowry Prohibition (Amendment) Act, 1984. 2. The Dowry Prohibition(Amendment) Act, 1986.(1) This Act may be called the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.(2) It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.(3) It shall come into force on such date 1as the Central Government may, bynotification in the Official Gazette, appoint.1. Came into force on 1-7-1961 vide S.O. 1410, dated 20-6-1961. In this Act, "dowry" means any property or valuable security given or agreed tobe given either directly or indirectly.(a) By one party to a marriage to the other party to the marriage, or(b) By the parent of either party to a marriage or by any other person, to eitherparty to the marriage or to any other person,at or before or any time after themarriage in connection with the marriage of the said parties, but does not include]dower or mahr in the case of persons to whom the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat)applies.(i) The word „dowry‟ should be any property or valuable given or agreed to be given inconnection with the marriage. The customary payments in connection with birth of childor other ceremonies are not involved within ambit of dowry; Satbir Singh v. State ofPunjab, AIR 2001 SC 2828.(ii) “Dowry” in the sense of the expression contemplated by Dowry Prohibition Act is ademand for property of valuable security having an inextricable nexus with the marriage,i.e., it is a consideration from the side of the bride‟s parents or relatives to the groom orhis parents and/or guardian for the agreement to wed the bride-to-be. But where thedemand for property or valuable security has no connection with the consideration for
the marriage, it will not amount to a demand for dowry; Arjun Dhondiba Kamble v. Stateof Maharashtra, 1995 AIHC 273.(iii) Any property given by parents of the bride need not be in consideration of themarriage, it can even be in connection with the marriage and would constitute dowry;Rajeev v. Ram Kishan Jaiswal, 1994 Cri LJ NOC 255 (All).(iv) The definition of dowry is wide enough to include all sorts of properties, valuablesecurities, etc., given or agreed to be given directly or indirectly; Vemuri VenkateswaraRao v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 1992 Cri LJ 563 AP HC.(v) There had been no agreement between either parties to give any property orvaluable security to the other party at or before or after the marriage. The demand ofT.V., refrigerator, gas connection, cash of Rs. 50,000 and 15 tolas of gold are notdemand of dowry but demand of valuable security in view of section 2; Shankar PrasadShaw v. State, I (1992) DMC 30 Cal.(vi) While dowry signifies presents given in connection with marriage to the bridal coupleas well as others, Stridhan is confined to property given to or meant for the bride;Hakam Singh v. State of Punjab, (1990) 1 DMC 343.(vii) Dowry, means, any property given or agreed to be given by the parents of a party tothe marriage at the time of the marriage or before marriage or at any time after themarriage in connection with the marriage. So, where the husband had demanded a sumof Rs. 50,000 some days after the marriage from his father-in-law and on not beinggiven became angry, tortured the wife and threatened to go for another marriage, it washeld that the amount was being demanded in connection with the marriage and it was ademand for dowry though it was demanded after the marriage; Y.K. Bansal v. Anju, AllLJ 914.(viii) The furnishing of a list of ornaments and other household articles such asrefrigerator, furniture, electrical appliances, etc., at the time of the settlement of themarriage amounts to demand of dowry within the meaning of section 2 of the DowryProhibition Act, 1961; Madhu Sudan Malhotra v. K.C. Bhandari, 1988 BLJR 360 (SC).(ix) A sum of money paid by a Mohemmadan in connection with his daughter‟s marriageto prospective bridegroom for the purchase of a piece of land in the joint name of hisdaughter and would-be son-in-law is not „dowry‟ within the meaning of the Act; KunjuMoideen v. Syed Mohamed, AIR 1986 Ker 48.(x) Where the demand was made after the marriage for the purchase of a car, it washeld that it did not fall within the definition; Nirdosh Kumar v. Padma Rani, 1984 (2) RecCr R 239.
(xii) Definition of ‟dowry‟ is not restricted to agreement or demand for payment ofdowry before and at the marriage but also includes demands made subsequent tomarriage; State of Andhra Pradesh v. Raj Gopal Asawa, AIR 2004 SCW 1566.(xiii) Demand of dowry in respect of invalid marriage would not be legallyrecognisable; Reena Aggarwal v. Anupam, AIR 2004 SC 1418.1. Subs. by Act 43 of 1986, sec. 2, for “or after the marriage” (w.e.f. 19-11-1986).2. Subs. by Act 63 of 1984, sec. 2, for certain words (w.e.f. 2-10-1985).3. Explanation I omitted by Act 63 of 1984, sec. 2 (w.e.f. 2-10-1985)If any person, after the commencement of this Act, gives or takes or abets thegiving or taking of dowry, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a termwhich shall not be less than five years, and with fine which shall not be less thanfifteen thousand rupees or the amount of the value of such dowry, whichever ismoreProvided that the Court may, for a adequate and special reasons to be recorded inhe judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment of a term of less than five years.shall apply to, or in relation to:-(a) Presents which are given at the time of a marriage to the bride (without anydemand having been made in that behalf).(b) Presents which are given at the time of a marriage to the bridegroom (withoutany demand having been made in that behalf).Provided that such presents are entered in a list maintained in accordance with therules made under this Act.Provided further that where such presents are made by or on behalf of the bride orany person related to the bride, such presents are of a customary nature and thevalue thereof is not excessive having regard to the financial status of the person bywhom, or on whose behalf, such presents are given .
(i) Section 3 does not contravene articles 14, 19, 21 and 22 of the Constitution andtherefore this section is not ultra vires of the said articles; Indrawati v. Union ofIndia, I (1991) DMC 117 (All).(ii) The offence is founded in the relationship of the property demanded as abettorwith the nature of demand. It should not bear a mere connection with marriage;Madan Lal v. Amar Nath, (1984) 2 Rec Cr. 581.(iii) Abetment is a preparatory act and connotes active complicity on the part of theabettor at a point of time prior to the actual commission of the offence;Muthummal v.Maruthal, 1981 Cr. LJ 833 (Mad).1. Section 3 re-numbered as sub-section (1) thereof by Act 63 of 1984, sec. 3(w.e.f. 2-10-1985).2. Subs. by Act 63 of 1984, sec. 3, for certain words (w.e.f. 2-10-1985).3. Subs. by Act 43 of 1986, sec. 3, for certain words (w.e.f. 19-11-1986).4. Subs. by Act 43 of 1986, sec. 3, for “six months” (w.e.f. 19-11-1986).5. Ins. by Act 63 of 1984, sec. 3 (w.e.f. 2-10-1985)..-
Penalty For Demanding DowryPenalty for demanding dowry.- If any person demands, directly or indirectly,from the parents or other relatives or guardian of a bride or bridegroom, as the casemay be, any dowry, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term whichshall not be less than six months, but which may extend to two years and with finewhich may extend to ten thousand rupees.Provided that the Court may, for a adequate and special reasons to be mentioned inthe judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than sixmonths. (i) The mere demand of dowry before marriage is an offence; (ii) The offence of demanding dowry stood committed even before the marriage was performed and also when the demand was repeated again and again after the performance of marriage in respect of the same items of dowry; (iii) The deceased had before being set on fire by her in-laws written a letter to her father that she was being ill-treated, harassed and threatened of dire consequences for non-satisfaction of demand of dowry. Thereby proving that an offence of demanding dowry under section 4 had been committed; (iv) There had been no agreement between either parties to the marriage nor their relations to give any property or valuable security to the other party at or before or after the marriage. Held that the demand of TV, refrigerator, gas connection, cash of Rs. 50,000 and 15 tolas of gold will not amount to demand of dowry but demand of valuable security and the said offence does not attract section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act;
(v) Furnishing of a list of ornaments and other household articles at the time of settlement of marriage amounts to demand of dowry and accused are liable to be convicted under section 4. (vi) Section 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act is not ultra vires nor does it contravenearticles 14, 19, 21, 22 of the Constitution;. Union of India, 1 (1991) DMC 117 All.1. Subs. by Act 63 of 1984, sec. 4, for section 4 (w.e.f. 2-10-1985).Ban on advertisement .- If any person -(a) Offers through any advertisement in any newspaper, periodical, journal orthrough any other media, any share in his property or of any money or both as ashare in any business or other interest as consideration fore the marriage of his sonor daughter or any other relatives.(b) Prints or published or circulates any advertisement referred to in clause (a),he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less thansix months, but which may extend to five years, or with fine which may extend tofifteen thousand rupees.Provided that the Court may, for adequate and special reasons to be recorded in thejudgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than six months.1. Ins. by Act 43 of 1986, sec. 4 (w.e.f. 19-11-1986).Agreement for giving or taking dowry to be void :-Any agreement for the giving or taking of dowry shall be void.Dowry to be for the benefit of the wife or her heirs:-(1) Where any dowry is received by any person other than the woman inconnection with whose marriage it is given, that person shall transfer it to thewoman-
(a) If the dowry was received before marriage, within three months after the date ofmarriage; or(b) If the dowry was received at the time of or after the marriage, within threemonths after the date of its receipt; or(c) If the dowry was received when the woman was a minor, within three monthsafter she has attained the age of eighteen years,and pending such transfer, shallhold it in trust for the benefit of the woman.(2) If any person fails to transfer any property as required by sub-section (1) withinthe time limit specified therefor, or as required by sub-section (3), he shall bepunishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months,but which may extend to two years or with fine which shall not be less than fivethousand rupees, but which may extend to ten thousand rupees or with both.(3) Where the woman entitled to any property under sub-section (1) dies beforereceiving it, the heirs of the woman shall be entitled to claim it from the personholding it for the time being:Provided that where such woman dies within seven years of her marriage,otherwise than due to natural causes, such property shall,— (a) If she has no children, be transferred to her parents; or (b) If she has children, be transferred to such children and pending suchtransfer, be held in trust for such children.(4) Where a person convicted under sub-section (2) for failure to transfer anyproperty as required by sub-section (1) or sub-section (3)has not, before hisconviction under that sub-section, transferred such property to the woman entitledthereto or, as the case may be, her heirs, parents or children the Court shall, inaddition to awarding punishment under that sub-section, direct, by order in writing,that such person shall transfer the property to such woman or, as the case maybe, her heirs, parents or children within such period as may be specified in theorder, and if such person fails to comply with the direction within the period sospecified, an amount equal to the value of the property may be recovered from himas if it were a fine imposed by such Court and paid to such woman or, as the casemay be ,her heirs, parents or children.
Nothing contained in this section shall affect the provisions of section 3 or section41. Subs. by Act 63 of 1984, sec. 5, for “one year” (w.e.f. 2-10-1985).2. Subs. by Act 63 of 1984, sec. 5, for sub-section (2) (w.e.f. 2-10-1985).3.Ins. by Act 43 of 1986, sec. 5 (w.e.f. 19-11-1986).4. Subs. by Act 43 of 1986, sec. 5, for certain words (w.e.f. 19-11-1986).5. Ins. by Act 63 of 1984, sec. 5 (w.e.f. 2-10-1985).6. Subs. by Act 63 of 1986, sec. 5, for “her heirs” (w.e.f. 19-11-1986).Dowry to be for the benefit of the wife or her heirs :-(1) Where any dowry is received by any person other than the woman inconnection with whose marriage it is given, that person shall transfer it to thewoman- (a) If the dowry was received before marriage, within 1[three months] after thedate of marriage; or (b) If the dowry was received at the time of or after the marriage, within1[threemonths] after the date of its receipt; or (c) If the dowry was received when the woman was a minor, within 1[threemonths] after she has attained the age of eighteen years,and pending such transfer,shall hold it in trust for the benefit of the woman.(2) If any person fails to transfer any property as required by sub-section (1) withinthe time limit specified therefor, 3[or as required by sub-section (3),he shall bepunishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months,but which may extend to two years or with finewhich shall not be less than fivethousand rupees, but which may extend to ten thousand rupees or with both.(3) Where the woman entitled to any property under sub-section (1) dies beforereceiving it, the heirs of the woman shall be entitled to claim it from the personholding it for the time being:
Provided that where such woman dies within seven years of her marriage,otherwise than due to natural causes, such property shall,— (a) If she has no children, be transferred to her parents; or (b) If she has children, be transferred to such children and pending suchtransfer, be held in trust for such children.](3A) Where a person convicted under sub-section (2) for failure to transfer anyproperty as required by sub-section (1) or sub-section (3) has not, before hisconviction under that sub-section, transferred such property to the woman entitledthereto or, as the case may be, her heirs, parents or children] the Court shall, inaddition to awarding punishment under that sub-section, direct, by order in writing,that such person shall transfer the property to such woman or, as the case maybe, her heirs, parents or children within such period as may be specified in theorder, and if such person fails to comply with the direction within the period sospecified, an amount equal to the value of the property may be recovered from himas if it were a fine imposed by such Court and paid to such woman or, as the casemay be,her heirs, parents or children.1. Subs. by Act 63 of 1984, sec. 5, for “one year” (w.e.f. 2-10-1985).2. Subs. by Act 63 of 1984, sec. 5, for sub-section (2) (w.e.f. 2-10-1985).3.Ins. by Act 43 of 1986, sec. 5 (w.e.f. 19-11-1986).4. Subs. by Act 43 of 1986, sec. 5, for certain words (w.e.f. 19-11-1986).5. Ins. by Act 63 of 1984, sec. 5 (w.e.f. 2-10-1985).6. Subs. by Act 63 of 1986, sec. 5, for “her heirs” (w.e.f. 19-11-1986).
Reasons for Dowry Increase Those who make a case for a stringent anti-dowry law on the ground that dowryamounts are rising exponentially forget that among many families in the dowrypracticing groups, standards of living have also risen dramatically. Up to mygrandmothers time, dowry consisted of clothes for the bride, gold or silver jewelry,several sets of bedding, cows, buffaloes and bedsteads, cots or peedhas andperhaps a wooden closet. Some communities also gifted a portion of land - atradition still common in regions like Andhra. By the time of my motherswedding, sofa sets and dressing tables had become mandatory and dinner sets andtea sets were included along with kitchen utensils. Watches, wall clocks and radiosets also became common because by then all these items had become customaryparts of middle class life. Today, refrigerators, air conditioners, automobiles and awhole range of gadgetry are an integral part of upper class and upper middle classdowries because these families use many of these conveniences in their daily lives.However, there is no escaping the fact that ugly tussles are becomingcommonplace over dowry payments. An important reason for growing cashdemands and expensive gifts for the grooms family is that parents see this as theirmain, if not the only chance, to be compensated for the big bonanza they areoffering the bride in the form of an earning son. They feel they should berecompensed for their investment in his education and upbringing since aftermarriage his wife may influence him not to support his own parents. As long asjoint families were the norm and most parents could count on their sons to supportthem in old age and treat their income as belonging to a common pool, dowrydemands were not as much of an issue. However, with increasing breakdown ofjoint families and reluctance of many women to stay with in-laws, the insecurity ofparents in many families takes the form of trying to extract what they can from thebrides family at the time of their sons marriage.
The rapid upward mobility made possible dueto opening of new opportunities for urbaneducated middle and upper class men, whoseearning potential has increased exponentially,has meant that such grooms are avidly soughtafter. For most women upward mobility comesthrough the man they marry rather than theirown employment. Most families try gettinghigher status grooms in the belief that theirdaughters will find it easier to adjust in suchfamilies than if they were to marry below theirstatus, apart from the benefits accruing in thelong run to the girls family by forging analliance with a well-connected kinshipnetwork; the demand for such upwardly mobilemen is far in excess of supply.An important reason for the increase indomestic conflicts, rising dowry demands and the transformation of dowryfromstridhan to groom price is that our legal enactments, administrativeinterventions and state policies are forcing the nuclearisation of families withoutdue attention to the fact that the only or main old age security for the vast majorityof people in India are their children, especially their sons. Parents invest all theycan in their sons education and career building in the hope and expectation thatsons will get jobs or other forms of earning opportunities bringing about upwardmobility for the whole family. Sons are expected to contribute to the education andmarriage costs of younger siblings as well as take care of parents in their old age.In societies where there is near total absence of any other form of social or old agesecurity, this is an understandable expectation.However, too many parents find this expectation belied after their sons getmarried, especially if their sons take up well paying jobs or succeed in anindependent enterprise separate from the joint family economy. Not just inmetropolitan cities, but even in small towns and villages of India, young wives areincreasingly prone to insist on moving away from the joint family and set up theirown independent establishment, even when the in-laws are not abusive.A man continuing to financially support his parents or younger siblings even afternuclearization of the family often finds stiff resistance from his wife. Many even
stop doing so. Sometimes parents themselves withdraw from receiving suchsupport in order to avoid friction in the marital life of their sons.Without doubt, in some cases daughters-in-law willingly endorse their husbandsefforts to support their natal families. But the over all trend is more in the directionof moving away from taking responsibility for the in-laws.Insecurity of Grooms FamilyIn recent years I have heard any number of parents tell me that marriage no moremeans kanya daan (gift of a daughter) but putr samarpan (handing over of son tothe daughterin- law). They say that they have to be prepared for the eventuality thateven occasional visits to the sons house may be resented and blocked by his wife,if she succeeds in winning him over to her side. That is why one finds manyparents try to marry off their daughters before they arrange their sons marriagesbecause of the fear that they may not be allowed to contribute to the expenses aftertheir sons get married. This is also the reason why dowry is increasingly taking theform of groom price, with parents expecting that a certain sum of money will begiven to them almost as recompense for their handing over the income and assetsof their son to the woman who becomes his wife.This increasing insecurity and uncertainty is at the heart of family tussles betweenthe bride, her natal family and her-in-laws. While some gracefully resignthemselves to this fate and even encourage sons to set up a separate house aftermarriage, many fight a grim battle to keep their sons under their influence, whichoften means using even vicious methods to prevent the couple from enjoying aclose conjugal relationship. The young bride has a formidable weapon in herarmory - her youth and sex. The old parents exploit the emotional appeal of bloodbonds. This bond is easier to sever where the parents are dependent on the sons forold age support. The few families who are very wealthy may succeed in using theirproperty as a glue to keep their married sons close to them. This anxiety anduncertainty about their fate vis-a-vis their sons is in large part responsible forstrengthening the culture of dowry demands.The fierce battles between daughters-in-law and parents-in-law are also largely dueto the fact that women in most communities are conditioned to believe that theirrights lie in their husbands families. Therefore, they feel extremely insecure andresentful about the claims of other members of their husbands families. Part of thesolution to this dilemma, therefore, lies in giving women inalienable rights in theirparental property so that they enter their marital homes with a sense of self
confidence in the knowledge that they dont have to keep the marriage going at allcosts and dont have to carve out a niche for themselves by curbing the rights oftheir in-laws.
Dowry ProhibitionIn response to the criticism of the dowry system the Indian government acted in1961 by legislating the Dowry Prohibition Act in 1961. The Dowry Prohibition Actoutlawed the practice of the dowry system; however, it is realized in India that thepractice still exists. Today, many dowries are accepted directly but morecommonly through indirect means. The law can also be circumvented as giftsgiven without precondition are still considered legal.The Dowry Prohibition Act does not outline punishments for participating in thedowry system; these punishments include imprisonment or a fine. The fine usuallyis 5000Rs and the term of imprisonment will not exceed six months. The DowryProhibition Act also prompted more awareness of the potential harm to women. Inthe past instances had been known where the bride had been burnt to death whenan insufficient dowry was presented so that the groom could remarry. In light ofthese situations the government now investigates the death of recent bridesparticularly if the death is believed to be a suicide. There is no charge or penaltyfor filing a false case of dowry death. The charge of dowry death can be consideredwithin seven years of the suspected death and the charge is prompted throughevidence of suspected mistreatment prior to the death. The charge of dowry deathcarries a sentence ranging from seven years of imprisonment up to life .
The Way ForwardThe present day dowry system in India symbolizes the disinheritance of womenand the desperation of parents to push their daughters out of their homes aftermarrying them off, no matter how this affects their well-being. Failure to do so isconsidered a severe stigma on the familys izzat (reputation). Since the woman isbeing sent as a disinherited dependent, the receiving family has to be compensated.Once women become equal inheritors, parents will not have to depend only onsons and daughters-in-law for old age security because daughters too will beempowered to take care of their parents. This will make families less male-centricand therefore, less prone to violent tussles. We need to combat the culture ofdisinheritance if we wish to effectively combat the growing hold of dowry culture.For this the following steps are likely to work better than anti-dowry laws: Encourage parents through widespread, high profile campaigns, to gift mainly income-generating forms of property to their daughters (land, house or business shares) depending on the economic status of the family. Encourage those parents who can afford it to ensure that their daughter has a house, room or even a jhuggi in her own name so that she is never rendered homeless, can never be thrown out of the house. Amend the Hindu Succession Act to give coparcenary rights to daughters at par with sons as the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamilnadu have already done. Amend the Hindu Succession Act to make it illegal to routinely disinherit daughters through their wills unless they can provide strong extenuating circumstances for doing so.
SkitSCENE-1 This story is about a rural family. There lived a small family of Meera in avillage named Ramwadi. Meera belonged to a poor family and stayed with hersingle widow mother and her small brother (chotu). Meera was a responsible andan innocent girl. One fine evening Meera‟s mother got a call from her Uncle. He said he has gota very nice proposal for Meera from Mumbai. Meera‟s mother was very happy andtold everything about the proposal to Meera. Meera was also very happy and wentto meet her childhood friend Tara to share the good news about the proposal. Tarawas also excited. Next evening Raj‟s family came from Mumbai to see Meera. Tara was alsopresent that evening. Meera‟s mother introduced her daughter to Raj‟s family andafter introduction Meera went in and Tara was present with her mother. Raj likedMeera and was ready to marry her but Raj‟s parents demanded for Rs.50,000 and acar. As they were very poor Meera‟s mother requested them to accept her daughterwithout any dowry, but Raj‟s mother sticked to her words. As all this incident took place in front of Tara, she immediately went and toldMeera about the demand from Raj‟s family. Meera as well as Tara was againstDowry. After the departure of Raj‟s family Meera and Tara both decided to makeMeera‟s mother understand that Dowry is illegal and its better to ignore such kindof proposals in the starting itself. They both did made her mother understand thatDowry is illegal. Because of Meera‟s initiative at a proper time her life as well asher family‟s life was saved.
SCENE-2 Scene-2 is a story about an Urban family staying in Mumbai. There was a girl named Komal with a good family background and was doingher BEd final year. Her father was an industrialist. Komal was an intelligent andwell-mannered girl. Komal had an elder brother. One day Komal went to her father and told abou her results that she passed withgood percentage and on the other side her father was also very happy for her andgave her another good news of marriage proposal for her. Komal always obeyed and respected her father a lot. She had put two conditionsthat she would do job after her marriage and no Dowry would be given. Her fatheragreed to both conditions. On the other side Pravin whose proposal had come for Komal was ready tomarry because he wanted to have Dowry from girl‟s family and set up his business.Pravin‟s mother was also involved with it. Next day Pravin‟s family went to see Komal , both families liked each other andeverything was going good. Then Komals father cleared both the conditions of herdaughter and Pravin‟s mother agreed to it. To this Pravin was shocked as hewanted Dowry. Pravin‟s mother planned to assault Komal after marriage for Dowry. Komal andPravin soon got married and on the same night Pravin assaulted her saying that hemarried her just for Dowry. Pravin‟s mother and Pravin assaulted, abused andharassed Komal for Dowry. Soon after some months Komal went into depression and started taking pillsunder the supervision of the Doctor. Komal did tell her brother about the harassment but told him not to tell about itto her father. After some days Komal‟s brother had gone to her sisters place forRakhi and looking at the situation he told his father everything. Komal‟s fatherforced her to come back but she did not listen and continued to suffer the torture.
After some days she hanged herself to death. Police did investigation and foundthat Komal‟s in-laws abused her for D
ConclusionThe dowry system is a multi-faceted issue that is neither straightforward norconstant. Definitions apart, there are many variations to the practice of dowrypayments - the size, form and function of payments. It is context and time specific;dowry can be a security blanket for married women by giving them a fund of theirown, but it has also been used to indicate the low status for women by reinforcingpatriarchal cultures and leaving women vulnerable to violence.It had been demonstrated that dowry-paying socieites tend to have more complexsocietal structures, substantial socioeconomic differentiation and classstratification, and monogamous, virilocal, patrilineal and endogamous marriagepractices. These societies also typically feature low female contribution toagriculture, and high levels of dependence of women and children on husbandseconomic support.In contrast to Brazil and China, as well as most other dowry-oriented societies inwhich payments have declined with modernization, dowries are still widelypopular in South Asia. Moreover, dowry has been labelled and criticized as a"problem" as it serves to empower men and disempower women in relative to oneanother.
Bibliographywww.google.comwww.youtube.comcrime petrol television show on sony.www.wikipedia.com