One of the burning problems of the society is the Dowry System. Apart from some other countries, Dowry System has most common in India and it is still practiced in Indian Society. It happens in many families rich or poor, educated or uneducated. This reflects the unhealthy condition of our society. The birth of female child is felt as a curse. The reason is that the girl becomes a burden to the parents at the time of marriage. This is because of dowry system.
The dowry system is so deeply rooted in Indian culture, that sometimes one feels that there's going to be no way out - at least not for another century. Some festivals like Diwali or Holi, and the parents of the daughter flood her in-laws with gifts. If gifts are expected - your daughter is married into the wrong family. If such giving is self-inflicted, you're making a mistake. Give a token present to your daughter. If you want to give her something more, do so, but don't feel pressured to give anything more than you receive to her in-laws.
Educate your daughters
An astounding number of parents still don't lay enough emphasis on educating their daughters. They believe their daughters will get married eventually, and husbands will support them, so why push them so hard? Poorer sections of society would rather send their daughters out to work and earn some money, to help them save up for her dowry. Those from regular middle and upper class backgrounds do send their daughters to school, but don't emphasize career options. They view education as a rite of passage. If their daughters do well, it's something to brag about at kitty parties.
Similarly, very wealthy parents will happily support their daughters until they get married. Because of the family status and their ability to fork out a high dowry, they know they will get good matches for their daughter, and don't take their daughters education very seriously.
Get serious about your daughter's education. Encourage her to have a career of her own, no matter what your financial standing. One of the reasons parents of the boy ask for dowry, is that they often expect that their son will be earning and supporting the wife, and it is only fair that she contribute somewhat towards the household by way of dowry. If your daughter is educated and has as good a career as her husband to be, you've got a strong step in your favor. Instead of giving her dowry so everyone is nice to her at her new home, give her a great career, so they can't help but respect her. So if they treat her badly, she can walk out, as she is not dependent on them.
So they need her monthly contribution to the household expenses and dare not mess with her. Providing your daughter with a solid education, and encouraging her to pursue a career of her choice is the best dowry any parent can ever give their daughter. Dowry means the money, gold, silver and other things given to a girl by her parents at the time of her marriage. Once they were given out of affection and not out of compulsion. But today the situation is quite different. Dowry is demanded as a right. Dowry death has become a common occurrence. So many poor girls remain unmarried. It is impossible to eradicate this evil by laws. Unless and until the people realize its ill effects sincerely, dowry system will prevail. If the bridegroom is good, he can heal the wounds by being kind to her. He can request or compel his parents to treat her like their daughter. But in most of the families the bridegroom becomes a slave to his parents.
In the marriage-system in ancient India, dowry was not a demand of the bridegroom or of any one of his side. It was a voluntary gift of the bride's father. But in the modern educated class, dowry has become a demand of bridegroom and they are demanding such as heavy dowry that it has become impossible for the parents to give their daughters in marriage. Indeed, many accomplished girls are rotting unmarried only because their parents are unable to meet the heavy demand of the bridegrooms. An educated man of the middle income-group is found to be demanding, among other things, thousands of rupees as passage money, majestic motor-cycle, double chained, wrist watch of all pure gold, color TV, refrigerator, civic homestead and the cost of taking foreign education. In a neighboring State, the problem of dowry has become so acute that the parents are encouraging their daughters to woo the young men and to marry them by registration. In Orissa, too parents will follow the same example if the present situation does not improve for them. Official statistics show a steady rise in dowry crimes. More than 10000 women are killed every year in India over dowry. Bihar and Uttar Pradesh still record the maximum number of dowry crimes, but Bangalore, India's fastest growing city also shows an alarming rise - four women reportedly die every day because of dowry harassment and domestic violence. The cases of dowry torture are the highest accounting for 32.4% of crimes against women in the country.
Remedy for Dowry System
The educated people should think and realize how unholy it is to demand a rich dowry for taking the hand of a bride. They should know that it is immoral and sinful to demand dowry and the sake of holy marriage. While demanding dowry they should think of their unmarried sisters and future daughters so that they will refrain from this ugly demand. They should realize that dowry has never changed the fate or financial position of any one in this world. If they do not realize these simple truths, girls should organize themselves to such an extent that no girl will marry a man who demands a rich dowry for her hand.
Now, the Government has enacted a law to check the system of dowry in our country. Demand for dowry has become a cognizable offence. A groom demanding dowry can be criminally prosecuted. But it is not enough. A man demanding rich dowry should be debarred from holding a Government job, as in the case of a man having more than one wife.
The Dowry Prohibition Act, in force since 1st July 1961, was passed with the purpose of prohibiting the demanding, giving and taking of dowry. In 1980 the Government set up a committee which recommended amendments in the Dowry Prohibition Act and also suggested expanding the definition of dowry and instituting family courts and National Commission for women. Many parliamentary debates led to some amendments in 1983,1984 and 1986.To stop the offences of cruelty by husband or his relatives on the wife, Section 498-A was added in the Indian Penal Code and Section 198-A in the Criminal Procedure Code in the year 1983. The Dowry Prohibition Act clearly stipulates that a person who gives or takes or helps in the giving or taking of dowry can be sentenced to jail for 5 years and fined Rs.15, 000/- or the amount of the value of dowry, whichever is more. The Act also prohibits the giving and taking directly or indirectly any property or valuable security, any amount either in cash of kind, jewelry, articles, properties, etc. in respect of a marriage. The control is provided by stating a limit and names of gifters and their relationship to the married couple to be signed by both sides of parents. In 1986, the Act was amended again, empowering State governments to appoint Dowry Prohibition Officers, who not only had a preventive role but also had powers to collect evidence against people who took dowry.