Dowry System in India
Dowry System in India-
Amit Verma (4th Himcapes College of Law)
When we think of the entrenched social harms in the society, dowry system seems to be one of the most powerful of them. With its acceptance across diverse communities transversely religions or caste has led to a century old ritual turn into a social act of violence. The gift swap ceremony to persuade agreement in the dealings has been harshly modified to compel forced economic extraction from the bride’s family. Be it in any form cash or kind, supplementary financial load takes a toll on the victim. “Dowry” in the sense of the appearance contemplated during the Dowry Prohibition Act is a demand from the side of the bride’s parents or relatives for property or valuable security having an inextricable nexus with the marriage, i.e., it is a deliberation to the groom or his parents and/or guardian for the agreement to marry the bride.
Causes of Dowry System
A major sector of the society holds the thought that it is the event for extortion from the bride’s family when the marriage ceremony talks are initiated. There are several reasons which are cited including the dowry is being demanded to pay off the costs of the groom’s education and liability. The primary reason behind such anxious measures can be justified through the greed issue. Owing to prospect of material benefits from the bride’s family, dowry is demanded for, and at times, when the demands are not met, either the marriage is come to divorce, or the bride is exploited important to domestic violence. Social Status:
In the ancient India it was quite liberal in the event of gift exchange during marriage. All of it would rest upon the monetary position of the families. The financial status of the bride’s family is of little or no significance to the groom’s family leading to potential dowry extortion in a marriage. Yet again, the bride’s family try to pay it out owing to the fact that bringing up the rear a marriage proposal would get worse their status in the society.
It is quite valid to consider it the primary cause for different social evils with a literacy rate of 74.04% in the country. Being from the section that is not well-informed about the laws and legislation, they face several slaughter owing to dowry swap practices. They are left with little or no choices and have to get together the demands of the groom’s family, which when not met, leads to utilization of the women.
Status of Women:
It is fairly understandable that women’s status in the society is not an equivalent one but the troubles doesn’t end here. Rather, the society owes its communications build up to the effectual giving of both genders the same. However, it is considerably ignored and the final sufferers are the women in such setup. The dowry system is the invention of such mindset and is the main reason behind the troubles of women in the nation.
Lack of Willingness to adhere to laws:
The Government of our nation has drafted some legislation to offset the dowry system. On the other hand, after the decades of drafting, these laws are still irrelevant and this social evil motionless resides in our society. Apparently, the key reason behind the failure is lack of mass contribution. People pay no attention to such laws and make sure to use the dowry system to increase material reimbursement under the mask of a marriage proposal. Hence, the demands which are made, and due to ignorance of anti-dowry laws, the bride’s family suffer at the hands of the groom and his family.
Laws Against Dowry System in India
The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961:
This Act was one of the most momentous effort for the fortify of women’s status in the society and the abatement of dowry system. This legislation noticeable the beginning of a growth leading to development of a legal infrastructure which efficiently monitored the swap and facilitation of exchange of dowry.
Section 3.Penalty for giving or taking dowry.—
3(1) If any person, after the commencement of this Act, gives or takes or abets the giving or taking of dowry, he shall be punishable 6 [with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than 7 [five years, and with fine which shall not be less than fifteen thousand rupees or the amount of the value of such dowry, whichever is more]
Provided that the Court may, for adequate and special reasons to be recorded in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than 8 [five years]
3(2) Nothing in sub-section (1) shall apply to, or in relation to,
(a) presents which are given at the time of a marriage to the bride (without any demand having been made in that behalf):
Provided that such presents are entered in a list maintained in accordance with the rules made under this Act;
(b) presents which are given at the time of a marriage to the bridegroom (without any demand having been made in that behalf)
Provided that such presents are entered in a list maintained in accordance with the rules made under this Act
Provided further that where such presents are made by or on behalf of the bride or any person related to the bride, such presents are of a customary nature and the value thereof is not excessive having regard to the financial status of the person by whom, or on whose behalf, such presents are given.
After studying the whole topic we would like to conclude that Lack of education leads to irresponsible decisions leading to financial exploitation from a marriage relation. Dowry system is a social evil and owes its origination to ignorance and illiteracy. Ensuring employment opportunities for the female sect and making education feasible seems the first step to ensure annihilation of dowry system from the society.The primary reason behind dowry system is the existence of a patriarchal society. Owing to such a social infrastructure, the dowry system still finds its takers and propagators.