Thursday, April 12, 2007

Dowry - Discrimination...

Another post on the same topic and how my blood actually reaches high boiling points when these things happens and that I am so powerless and that I can't stop such things from happening...
Here's the whole story -

We were teasing a team mate of mine who is getting married about where he is going for his honeymoon, party, bachelor's party etc - the usual set of bad jokes were being cracked and everyone was having a nice time....
Then another team mate of mine N pipes in and says: Hey, ask him how much Dowry he is getting!!!
This again is said in a very light tone, we all freeze, turn to him and expectantly look at him hoping he will deny that comment, but the guy doesn't and just blushes!!!!!
We look at N again and he smiles and says: 30 Lakhs!!!!
we are stunned and its like WTF???????????????
N looks smug and continues: It's not just money da, there's a house and 4 acres of land attached as well!
The guy who is getting married, shrugs and says: It's there in our community da, how can it not be followed??
WTF??
Can't you, an educated man who is earning pretty cool and big bucks tell his parents that he doesn't WANT the money??
I was pissed... (that's putting it mildly!)
I asked him: You are a grown and well educated man, can't you say no? I mean, if people like us - today's generation don't condemn such things, how are we setting an example and how do we even try to build a society clean from such things?
The guy looks at me and says: H, you are very naive! (WTF???) these things happen and they are part of our lives and I say no, the girl's parents will also think that something is wrong with me!!!!!
So, I ask him(I've gone RED by now): So, all your earnings, you are going to save so that you can pay your daughter's dowry is it?!!!!
He replies: H!!! Don't say such things!!! Please take it back, we don't want a daughter!!!!

I am so... shocked and saddened by this whole incident. This is the kind of society we live in...
Dowry still exists and is still rampant in all Indian societies, castes and across different religions.
And there are so many well educated people who say in shocked tones that they don't want daughters....
I spoke about this now with my husband and he looked at me kindly and said a few things which were truly shocking -
It exists in his community too!!! But, in a very discreet manner and the dowry is expected in GOLD!!!
The more jewellery the girl wears, the better "catch" she is!!!!
The MIL of the girl makes sure SHE is in possession of all the jewels!!!
I am glad my parents and my extended family don't belive in this. And I am so thankful to the Good Almighty for giving me such a sensible, strong willed husband...
But, I am appalled and shocked by all this... Am I really so naive? Will our society ever change?
What can I do to contribute to make it a better place ?
It's sad....

6 comments:

Sachin said...

Hey there, this is the first time I'm visiting your blog - got here from Megha's blog.

Had a nice time reading your posts.

As to this last one of yours, can identify with the feeling you must have had while attempting to drill sense into that thick skull of your colleague. Can already see what his wife would have to go through after their marriage. And to think we think of ourselves as a liberated generation who see things for what they are and not as what has been told us!! Keep posting and do visit my blog when you can. Cheers!

Sunita said...

I have argued, debated and beaten the hell out of it with words when I could, but I saw it happening very close home and had no control over it and I agree the arguments are so totally moronic.

Smi said...

It's shocking but true, that in certain communities in Orissa and Andhra, even an unemployed guy stands to net a cool dowry packet of 5 lakhs!
Even with the changing times and more and more people getting educated, things haven't really changed in these communities. I don't mean to sound cynical, but it doesn't look like things are going to change radically even after 20-30 years..so is it any wonder that your friend doesn't want to have daughter, considering that he knows he'll have to part with a huge chunk of his fortune at the time of her marriage?

Pixie said...

sachin: Thank you for the compliment :)

sunitha&smi: it's so sad... and whatever we try to say makes absolutely no difference...

The Mad Momma said...

all i can do is shudder and wish that I could reach out and slap him. not because it will help but because if i dont i will burst with rage....

i know these things happen in our country but i would not be able to deal with it happening among my own social circle...

Minal said...

hey have heard EXACTLY the same words from a colleague of mine. In fact he broke up with his girlfriend ( was not an arranged marriage scenerio..he supposedly dated her for years) when her parents first were against against dowry and were not willing to comply to their requests of pitching in money for the ENTIRE wedding.
And, I still have difficulty talking to this colleague !
I simply don't understand them.