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Persistent Dowry demands October 4, 2006

Filed under: Dowry Menace,Matrimonial Conflicts — togetherwebond @ 9:23 am

The anti-dowry laws in India were enacted in 1961 but it continues to be highly institutionalized. Giving or taking dowry is an offence, punishable in India under the Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961. It was not until 1983 that domestic violence became punishable by law.

The demands are still there but the recent trend is that it is demanded after the wedding has solemnized and is used as a blackmail tool. The bride is often threatened by her husband that if the dowry demands are not met , then he will divorce her. Also if the husband and his family are unsatisfied with the gifts/money he further harasses the bride, abuses her physically and mentally and along with his whole family tortures her.

The relaxed laws themselves have done nothing to stop dowry demands, harassment and the violence that is often associated with them. Most of the cases go unreported because of the stigma associated with it or the bride’s side is once again threatened that if they report it, dire consequences will be faced. Police and the courts are notorious for turning a blind eye to cases of violence against women and dowry associated deaths.

Two cases were reported from one town itself ( and I am sure several are unreported) .

The increasing number of dowry-related deaths has highlighted the fact that this immoral practice is rampant among the educated sections of urban society.

Case I: Sandhya Shankar gave both cash and a car as dowry before she got married to a well-educated family friend. Once married, her greedy in-laws started pestering her for more money.Unable to bear the constant bickering, Sandhya lodged a complaint against them recently.

Case II: Neha Mehta had a love marriage a few years ago, which soon turned into a nightmare. She was taunted and physically harassed by her husband and in-laws for not bringing in dowry at the time of marriage.But the fact remains that Neha gives a major chunk of her salary each month to her husband.
Sandhya and Neha are not the only ones who face dowry woes in the urban, upper echelons of our society.

Their husbands and in-laws are well-educated, hardworking people and seem far removed from the scheming and wicked in-laws of a rural setting that we have known.

Welcome to the harsh reality where highly-educated women, who are aware of their fundamental rights and can handle a balance sheet with ease, still hesitate to report instances of dowry harassment.

Darshan Shah, a psychiatrist, attributes the societal system as the main cause for the hesitation to revolt.The society we live in requires us to keep the entire issue hush-hush. Women are hesitant to report dowry related grievances for fear of public reactions.

Parents should extend full support to their daughters who stand up against such miserable acts. For Ila Pathak of Ahmedabad Women Action Group (AWAG) the fact that the educated indulge in the practice of dowry does not come as a surprise.

The more educated and rich one is, the greater are the demands, she says. But there are some who spurn such unscrupulous practices.

Like Shubha Nigam, a lecturer, who refused to sell herself when a highly-educated, rich yet greedy man asked for dowry.

Education aims to liberate but unfortunately, people have only managed to become literate, and not emancipated, she says. The Dowry Prohibition Act was implemented in 1961 and amended twice.

Yogesh Lakhani, an advocate says, Any kind of tangible demand made before or after the marriage by the groom or his family for the fulfillment of marriage terms . The nonfulfillment of which leads to consequential harassment should not be tolerated.

But till more and more women take recourse to the legal system, dowry will continue to remain a social menace.

Truly Kahani ghar ghar ki


The bitter and shocking reality is that dowry demands even presently exist in the urban society . The guilty party ie the husband and his family are out in the open enjoying- by escaping the laws. It clearly portrays that the so-called dowry law has provided no respite to the battered dowry victims.


11 Responses to “Persistent Dowry demands”

  1. Kiran Says:

    It is the order of the day.
    Men have become more and more spineless and think that dowry is their birthright.

    In their growing years they are made to think they are special coz they will fetch a handsome dowry.


  2. Prakruti Says:

    Dowry was someting quite different in the days where the father of the girl wished to share with the groom and his family the protector provider role by contributing to the family of his daugher. Most of this was in the form of land or grains. The entire system seems useless now as women do not need any more a protector and provider (as many of them are now financially independent and live in civilised soceities). Its high time that the role of the spouse be redefined (if it does require any definition at all).. and obsolete customs like the dowry are thrown out!!


  3. Vinita N Says:

    My own husband who had an engineers degree did not leave any stone unturned asking for dowry openly and shamelessly.

    Not only him even his mother use to ask me to demand from my mother the various things that she wanted. My MIL was 65 years old and desired expensive branded perfumes from my parents, wanted the same sarees that I had and the same makeup stuff that I had bought for myself to use.

    I wonder who was shameless…my MIL or my ex-husband.

  4. Manasi Says:

    My husband wanted me to earn-which was fine. I was happy that I could earn some money for myself.

    But when I got my first salary my in-laws wanted me to give it to them. When I objected, they said in a joint family the money must be surrendered to them.

    I had no choice but to give them my full salary and in return they gave me only 1000rs for travelling purposes and nothing else.

    My entire salary of 24000rs went straigth to their pockets for 8 months. Till today I have not seen that.

    With this their demands increased. Later they wanted my parents so sponsor my husbands elder sister’s wedding. That is when I saw their real colours. My own parents told me thay would not sponsor it. In return my husband threw my out of the house –not even thinking that he is harming our marraige.

    Today I am separated since 18 months, I wont give him a divorce and his anyway very elder sister is unmarried and shall remain so.

    What his greedy parents derived from this–till today I dont know.

  5. Sumanth Says:

    Indian India, 22,000 men are killed or driven to suicide by their wives or in-laws. All these criminal women go scot free.

    Women want to keep their own salary in their own bank account and would like to spend husband’s salary for their perfumes and diamond rings.

  6. Vidhya M. S Says:

    Men get killed and women go scot free….scoff scoff

    You actually mean women get killed and men go scot free right?? Like Manu Sharma who killed openly and is scot free??

  7. Kiran Says:

    Men do not get killed…they drive women to suicide.

    You are all confused. 🙂

  8. Iturkarp Says:

    One easier way to eliminate dowry is to encourage & seek love marraige ( than the traditional way of arranged marriage & pray for “love” to emanate by accident !). Women who are emplyed and can stand on their own legs should not succumb to dowry demands in their marriages as such men are not only cowards but would never afford equality to the women they marry but will definitetly treat like slaves.

    Thus, blaming dowry after marriage ( by paying the busband’s family via Dowry)is so naive, but very sad indeed.

  9. Ranjana Says:

    Swati (and all the other names you are taking)

    I am your sister inlaw who you harrasssed for dowry and now you come on this website to cry your crocodile tears.

    You got your brother married to me only coz you were after my parents money.

    It is a fact that whole world knows what kind of sinful relationship you have with your brother.

    It is YOUR INTERFERENCE that today you all are criminals in fornt of Indian LAw.

    Have the guts then come out in the open

  10. Swarup Sarkar Says:

    ( sexually deprived rants will not be put up)

  11. shaunik Says:

    I recently noticed that people of Indian origing (Men) have started a sustained campaign against the dowry act and its related sections in IPC law – stating that they are being misused by women. I strongly object this. Dowry act is the only tool against money-minded husbands and women-beaters in our society. If Infact if anthing, the law has done very little to prevent more dowry-related deaths of innocent women in India.

    True, there might be some cases that are not totally related to dowry, but it is also true that there cannot be laws for all the abuses that these so-called men shower on the happless women.

    Can there be a section in IPC against mental and verbal abuse?
    Can there be a section in IPC against physical abuse?
    Can there be a section in IPC against sexual abuse?

    No! All these have been bundeled into on law – the exisintg and the new Dowry law. This is a boon for women who want to fight back against the abusing husbands and their families. According to the Indian Gov statistic, in most of the cases its not only the husband but also his family members who are directly related to the break up of marriages and abuses on the wife.

    So Lets all support this wonderful cause and the Dowry LAW.

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