India is a patrilineal and patriarchal society. Men are thought to be decision manufacturers and fore-runners for any initiatives at development or improvement. Clouded by misinterpreted values and rituals of Hinduism as well as patriarchal norms, Indian contemporary society subjected their women to grave atrocities, often for no problem of their own. It had been perhaps only after intervention of the Uk; that some people woke up to the reality of the atrocities encountered by women: widowed, married, young and old.
The practice of Dowry was one such custom. The custom of dowry dates back to 3000 BC. Dowry identifies money, goods, or propriety a woman brings in to the relationship- it is paid by the bride’s family to the groom’s family. Another strategy related to dowry is ‘bride price’ regarded as the repayment a groom owes the bride’s parents for the to her labour and reproductive features, a transaction regarding bride-wealth occurs when the bridegroom and his family copy property to the bride’s kin. The practice was characteristic of indigenous, primitive and nomadic neighborhoods. Matching to various historical accounts, the practice of bride price was utilized in many parts of the planet including: Mexico, indigenous elements of the United States, Russia, Greece, Portugal, Brazil among other countries during various different times before. The practice of dowry was carried out in countries like India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Afghanistan and Vietnam. The practice of Dowry continues to be prevalent in most of these countries.
Over the years, this practice in India has used the form of any source of grave atrocities towards women. Many times, this problem will not affect the woman alone, but her family as well. The Government has made efforts to suppress atrocities related to the practice of Dowry. The Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961 is on such effort. However the dowry related violence continues to be rampant and frequently moves unreported. On the average one Indian girl commits suicide every four time on the dowry dispute, according to official data, despite the efforts being made to empower them.
As aforementioned, the practice of dowry is deeply rooted in history. A couple of sociological as well as functional aspects that provided rise to this practice.
From historical confirmation present in many literary accounts predicated on India, we know that Old Indian modern culture was actually not oppressive towards women. Alternatively society actually held women with high esteem. Many powerful makes of character and Gods were depicted and believed to be manifested in female form. We hear about Swayamvar in the old Hindu marriage traditions where it was the bride who chosen whom to marry.
In the pre-colonial period, dowry was an institution handled by women, for women, to permit them to determine their status and also have recourse in an emergency. In this particular traditional system of dowry, the parents of the bride-to-be gave prosperity to her by means of valuable products etc. It was exactly like how parents used to provide a part of wealth to their sons as inheritance in the same way, parents provided inherited wealth to their daughter during their wedding.
It was only towards the end of the colonial rule in India, that the practice of dowry started changing into a menace. Right up until that time, the idea of possession of private property was not very widespread in India. The land always belonged to the government and folks only resolved in the government’s land. Land was given an important position in terms of wealth. This sowed seeds of greed in a culture that was normally very communal in characteristics. The English also brought about changes in these cultural norms and these influenced the status of women greatly. The move which afflicted the status of the ladies in the Indian world was the rule enforced by the Uk which prohibited the women from getting any property at all.
It was only as just lately as in 2005, when the Hindu regulations were amended again, now providing women equal position with men in conditions of ancestral property.
Many scholars are of the judgment that dowry has economical functions which is a means of redistributing property. Relating to the transmission of property, dowry as price is actually an economic exchange between the bride-giver and bride-taker. Dowry may also be seen as a way increase the welfare of brides by portion as a kind of pre-mortem inheritance. To be a wife’s dowry can constitute from what is necessary for the couple to get started on their conjugal device, it can help to enhance the wife’s bargaining electricity in the marital household.
However this practice has been misinterpreted over time. The purchase price model views dowry as an instrument whereby parents of daughters secure alliances with high-quality in-laws (Arunachalam and Logan, 2008). Dowries are considered as opportunities for daughters to get resourceful men and means to ensure a much better future for your daughter and to enhance one’s own prestige in the community. In this manner, dowry is a gift for alliance and not a marriage repayment. Although dowry will not involve a copy that is provided in trade for a transfer of rights between families, there is certainly the required connotation that something is likely to be obtained in return for the dowry (Bell, 1998).
http://jagori. org/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/dowry_infopack. pdf
http://sc6214. wetpaint. com/site/3. 2+Dowry+as+Price
http://sc6214. wetpaint. com/page/4. 1+Functions+of+Dowry
http://zeenews. india. com/reports/etc/1-dowry-death-every-4-hrs-in-india_414869. html
http://www. hitxp. com/articles/history/origin-dowry-system-bride-woman-india-british/
The Dowry Prohibition Act passed on 20th may 1961 was the first look at by the Indian authorities to recognize and curb the social bad of dowry. It was modified with the Dowry Prohibition (Amendment) Work of 1984 that was further changed with the Dowry Prohibition Invoice of 1986.
The Act stated that “any property or valuable security given or decided to be given straight or indirectly by one get together to the other get together to the marriage or by the parents of either party to a married relationship or by any other person to either get together to the marriage or to every other person at or before regarding the the matrimony of the said gatherings. “
The amendment of 1984 did not meet the prospects of the individuals, more specifically feminist communities. But, it made supplying and taking dowry a cognizable offence and empowered welfare organizations to record a complaint. The 1986 amendment strengthened the government’s offence against dowry as it included dowry fatalities in the list of offences in Indian Penal Code.
According to regulations, dowry is a cognizable and non-bailable offence. The minimum abuse for dowry is 5 years imprisonment and the very least Rs. 15, 000 fine. The consequence for demand of dowry is imprisonment of at least six months and a minimum fine of 10, 000.
The Dowry Prohibition Action 1961 further mentioned that dowry taken before, at that time or after marriage must be handed over to the lady within 90 days of taking it. If dowry was used when the lady was a, it needs to be handed over within three months of her turning eighteen. It’s important to maintain two or more lists of products given and received during the wedding. These require the signature of the bride and groom or a close relative if the situation arises.
Certain other significant areas of the law is the fact that it considers providing, taking, assisting in supplying or taking, requesting and advertising dowry as an offence.
In order to prohibit the practice of dowry, a set of laws have been contained in the Indian Penal Code:
Section 304B of IPC:
When a woman dies scheduled to uses up or bodily accidents within seven many years of her matrimony and circumstances show that before her fatality she was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her partner or his relative for any demand of dowry, such a death will be called ‘dowry fatality’ and the partner and the relatives shall be presumed to acquire caused her loss of life.
Under this section, whoever triggers a dowry death shall be punished with imprisonment for no less than seven years, which might stretch to imprisonment for life.
Section 113A of Indian Facts Act:
If the question of abetment at the hands of a woman’s partner or any of his relatives goes up which is shown that she has committed suicide within a period of seven years from the time of her relationship which her husband and his family members have subjected her to cruelty, the Judge may presume, having regard to all the other circumstances of the case, that such a suicide has been abetted by the husband or his family.
SECTION 498A of IPC: Whenever a woman’s spouse or his family members subject her to cruelty, they shall be punished with imprisonment (which might extend to 3 years) and will be liable to fine.
Any intentional behavior of the partner or his relative that is likely to force the girl to commit suicide or to cause serious problems for her life or health (whether physical or mental or both).
Harassing the girl with the purpose of forcing her or anybody related to her to meet up with the unlawful demand for just about any property or valuable goods, or on account of failing to meet such requirements created by the man or his relatives.
“Any property or valuable security given or decided to be given directly or indirectly by one get together to the other get together to the marriage or by the parents of either get together to a marriage or by other person to either party to the matrimony or to any other person at or before (or any other time after the marriage) regarding the the relationship of the said people. “
The legislations allows ‘items’ but does not allow ‘dowry’. Regulations implies that products are voluntary whereas dowry is involuntary
The presents to the bridegroom should not be of ‘unnecessary’ value and really should keep in head the financial position of the individual, who or on whose behalf the products are being given. However in reality, this does not carry true.
Bride-burning is a kind of domestic violence that involves the killing of a bride due to her refusal or failure to satisfy the dowry needs of her hubby and his family members. It generally will involve dousing the sufferer with kerosene and arranging her alight. Ironically customers have come to generate “faster and safer” methods to achieve their ends.
Rakesh Bedi from the Telegraph reported on 27th Feb, 2012 which mentioned that “in 2010 2010, 8391 dowry death cases were reported across India, meaning a bride-to-be was burnt every 90 minutes, according to statistics recently released by the National Crime Documents Bureau. A decade earlier this number was 6995, but climbed to 8093 dowry fatalities in 2007. “
Himendra Thakur in his aricle in 1999 had written, “Years back, Rabindranath Tagore summed it up as: Desh mrinmoy noi, desh chinmoy The country is not really a chunk of globe: it is just a saga of consciousness. Without the conscience of our own people, this awareness will fade. We should rouse ourselves to the daily indignities that encompass us. “(www. indiatogether. org)
Stridhan can be discussed as that part of a woman’s wealth over which she only has the capacity to sell, gift, mortgage loan, lease or exchange – entire or in parts. It comes from two words Stri-woman and dhan-wealth. This prosperity is a women’s exclusive property. Apart from the ornaments and trousseau given at the time of marriage, stridhan is including gift ideas of money, property, jewellery and other tangible assets which the girl receives before, after and during matrimony from her family and her husband’s family. A woman could receive stridhan in her capacity as a daughter, daughter-in-law, sister and wife.
Traditionally, stridhan was supposed to provide a certain amount of economic security to a female in case there is divorce, widowhood, etc. Also, it was likely to allow some inheritance to the princess of the household as she didn’t have the right to equivalent inheritance like the son. However, this was looked after (on paper) following the amendment of the Hindu Succession Function, 2005 which gave equal privileges of inheritance to the little princess and son.
Stridhan has triggered a whole lot of argument in population. Most weddings are indicative of stridhan ‘heading with the bride’ instead of ‘to the bride-to-be. ‘ However, taking part in devil’s advocate, it must be pointed out that Stridhan includes consumable goods that can’t be reserve by the bride-to-be for her only use. Another concern that brings out varying ideas is the component of extortion in Stridhan. It is expected to reinforce a women’s position, but it may also be used as bait that affects the behaviour of the in-laws towards a female. Another concern that raises concerns about the goal of stridhan is the possession of the stridhan. Stridhan is meant to maintain the ownership of the woman according to the Dowry Prohibition Take action, 1961, but real-life instances put light on an extremely different actuality. Personal experiences have demostrated an immediate weighing of the bride-to-be and her parents followed by a quick deposit of the bride’s stridhan in the mother-in-law’s locker very directly comes after the bride’s accessibility into the house.
“At a Bengal Hindu wedding, the institution of tattwa – the formal display of gifts between your marrying young families never fails to turn my tummy. It is a unusual wedding where take great pride in of place is not occupied by way of a roomful of cellophane-wrapped trays of clothes for the few, clothes for a wide circle of family members, linen, houseware, make-up, sweets, spices, seafoodI even observed a box of Glenlivet one malt as part of a recent screen! It is possible to hire a professional tattwa designer these days to make this display of ‘creative’ clothing molded into fantastic silhouettes; bamboo or Styrofoam sculptures; jewel-like accoutrements. People undoubtedly hasten in order to me which i am misreading tattwa as ‘dowry’ in the same sense as ‘dowry deaths’: instead of that awful greedy and materialistic stuff, this trend is cast as an real celebration of ethnic traditions, a simple component of wedding ceremonies”, writes Shrimati Basu in her paper on ‘Politics of Supplying: Dowry and Inheritance as Feminist Concern. ‘(www. jabori. org)
Why is it that customs don’t serve the reason they are anticipated to? How could it be that man manages to tweak them in that manner that their goal of living is defeated? Stridhan was expected to provide some economic backing in case there is socio-economic disruption in the girl family life, but rather than doing that, it has become a measure which her treatment is dependant.
On a far more positive notice, Stridhan has started to serve its purpose as households are starting to value a bride’s right to security. Across the same lines, brides too have started to have a stand and oppose any sort of misdoing against them.
http://jagori. org/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/dowry_infopack. pdf
http://www. lawyersclubindia. com/forum/what-is-the-definition-of-stridhan-27371. asp#. UDzh
http://www. indiatogether. org/wehost/nodowri/stats. htm