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Dowry: A dark shadow

Dowry: A dark shadow
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Faheem-Ul-Islam
We are heading towards the inclined progress as a modern society and are getting acknowledged with things according to pace of time. Human civilization is getting modern in the ways which was quite impossible; beyond the naked sight and now the things are getting unveiled with the advent of modern technologies, surely a blessing and the great step towards the bright ways ahead.
Life is running according to stimulus and we all believe to the same. But the complexity of things in an adverse way is always as a shadow to the human step. The more we heed towards the better ways, the more we are stepping away from the norms and beliefs of the society. Major issues are challenging the modern civilization and the most and major one is dowry, which has a dark shadow on the bright face of educated and successful societies.
The menace which has lead the main inequality between men and women is dowry which I can clearly say is the main curse to the modern society. It is an evil practice based on gender discrimination which is faced by a girl and her family at the onset of her marriage.
This menace has become the daily practice and well accepted norm in our society today. It is being considered as a privilege and is being practised with full enthusiasm to prove the love and position towards their daughter, this curse is being considered as a push for independent life of a daughter.
This discrimination rather than boycott is being encouraged to make bride and her family to suffer in such a cyclone. This crime is being done on the onset of new life of daughter. Isn’t it a big blot on our society? A father who has brought up this blessing during the even and odds of whole life is being forced to bid away her with this curse.
Kashmir, the place of spirituality and sufi saints is now also the main market of such deeds. When these inhuman acts becomes the top news of the box its shows the reality of today’s modern educated society. Number of cases are being witnessed day by day in our valley which shows the darkest of its side.
A woman from South Kashmir was burned alive by her husband and his family, after she refused their dowry demands. Another case was reported from Bandipora, where a woman allegedly died after committing suicide. Her father has alleged that she was being harassed by her in-laws for dowry.
Also in Kashmir, there are so many rituals, customs and traditions in a marriage which leads to these deeds. Kashmir a place of sufi saints has now sunk deep in the market of devils. The poor families and guardians of daughters are cursing themselves for being the part of such a society. A number of researches have been done to find the solution and intensity of this crime.
Various news outlets have investigated dowry-related cases. In the data available until 2017, the state had recorded 15 dowry deaths in the past three years. Nearly 639 cases were registered, and 1108 people were arrested in 2014. From 2015-2017, more than 1000 dowry-related cases were registered.
The police also arrested 583 persons, and 422 cases of domestic violence were recorded. According to the NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau), a woman becomes a dowry death victim every hour. In the year 2016 alone, 7628 dowry-related deaths were reported, as per NCRB. During the lockdown, another news outlet investigated five case studies in September 2020 wherein they found that women are undergoing tremendous mental and physical harassment.
They found out in these cases that dowry is a widely practiced cultural menace, and people endorse it. In most cases, the husband tortures, abuses and thrashes the wife for not bringing dowry. According to the statistics disclosed by (National Crime Records Bureau) there has been a surge of 15% in the year 2021.
It’s very unfortunate that even being blessed with constitution we are still spectators of these kinds of violations of human rights in our society. Though government of India has passed an act on 20th May, 1961 which is known as Dowry Prohibition Act. Under this act the legislation provides for a penalty under Section 3. The punishment for proven guilty undergoes imprisonment for minimum 5 years and a fine more than Rs 15,000 or the value of the dowry received.
How many of us witness the decline in such cases, rather a large sect of society is playing a role in its field of effect. It is our responsibility to educate wards about the consequences of such crimes and also should play a role of responsible citizen to protect the career and life of such a blessing creature.
Father should save the money to educate her daughter not to gift the curse for her independent life. Give wings to your daughter she will fly above such a heinous deeds. And youth should voluntarily come forward to stop this crime as well.
Other governmental and non-governmental organizations should also act as a catalyst for the same. Now it’s a high time to take action as a collective society and stand together to eradicate this menace
(The author is a student of political science at Aligarh Muslim University)


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