Ring of Violence

Most people don't like to watch videos or read articles or do anything that forces them to come face to face with the sick realities of our world purely because it makes them squeamish and queasy. Why don't you grow a spine already. I recently watched this video posted by a friend on facebook. It's only 12 minutes and 18 seconds long. It's educational and very real so please watch it.

I feel embarrassed/angry/disgusted/devastated to know that this goes on in my country. It is still prevailing today even after measures have been  implemented to stop it although none of them have really controlled the problem.

Besides the obvious reason for why this video is so disheartening, there are other points that really struck out to me from this short documentary : dowry and bride burning.

Dowry is banned in India. The Dowry Prohibition Act has made dowry demands in wedding arrangements illegal but despite this law that has been placed to protect the women of India, it is hardly enforced.

Why is dowry wrong?

Firstly, huge dowry demands strain the finances of the brides’ parents, and could clobber their standard of living. Also, the thought of brides as commodities to be bought obviously appalls my conscience. I absolutely loathe the idea of one family transferring its wealth to another family and getting nothing in the bargain. Dowry claims to benefit women because when she marries 'into' the grooms family, her lifestyle needs to be sustained since she's now an extra mouth to feed, and so the grooms family demand she pay a bride price so that she can live under his roof comfortably. 

As much as I can see how this might apply to the lower class of India (but I'm not claiming that because they are poor, it makes it 'okay' or reasonable), how does this apply to a groom's family demanding dowry and are in the middle class to the wealthy class range in India? It is absolutely unnecessary, especially since most women in similar income classes are educated and can therefore contribute to her 'expenses' by herself. The fact that she is seen as an extra expense to the groom's family is sickening. This is marriage, not a transaction. Whatever the case or class may be, dowry is wrong. I cannot say that enough times: it is WRONG.

Secondly, because of dowry demands, parents do not want female children. There is a societal preference in South Asia for boys based on the fact they will bring in money unlike girls who will take out money from the family. The result? Female foeticides.

Third: If a groom is not satisfied with the dowry a bride has given his family, he may cast her out so he can marry someone else with a bigger and better bride price, or his family attempt to murder the new bride to make the husband available to remarry or to punish the bride and her family by dousing her in fire and calling it a 'kitchen accident'.

How, by any stretch of the imagination, is dowry still reasoned to be acceptable by the masses today? To me, if you stand for dowry, you stand for violence against women. It does more harm than good (if any at that).

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One thought on “Ring of Violence

  1. This depresses me to no end.

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