Home » Languages » English (Sr. Secondary) » Essay, Paragraph or Speech on “The Evils of Dowry System” Complete English Essay, Speech for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Essay, Paragraph or Speech on “The Evils of Dowry System” Complete English Essay, Speech for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

The Evils of Dowry System

The custom of dowry originated with a practical purpose. This was to help the newly married girl to start her life afresh. Therefore, the parents gifted to her utensils, household goods, furniture and some more items of daily use. There was another reason why the parents wished to give away a part of their possessions by way of gifts. The daughter was not entitled to a share in the family property. Only the boys could be the legal heirs to the wealth and property left by the parents.

However, over the years, this custom of dowry degenerated. It became an instrument of exploitation. Particularly during the last fifty years, the custom of dowry has become widespread and has become a major social evil. Even before the marriage, the amount to be given as dowry is discussed and settled. Costly luxurious items are also included in the dowry. The boy’s parents openly demand money and other items. Gradually these demands have been increasing with time. The boys or their parents want a motorcycle, a fridge, a T.V. set and many other items and among the wealthy families, cars are also included in the list of items.

Hardly is there a day when one does not read of dowry deaths in the national dailies. So many young girls’ dreams of happiness turn into ashes. So many find the place of their parents-in-law to be real hell. Instead of motherly affection, they get unending taunting. The mother-in-law’s only work is to find fault with the young girl. Any small excuse is good enough for her to harass the daughter-in-law. There is not much help from the husband either. He seems to be in league with his mother. The father-in-law also often joins hands with his wife against the girl. All this is done to her because she has not brought enough dowries. The parents-in-law are not satisfied and their greed turns -them into cruel animals.

Her torture goes on even if she brings more and more money. But these demands never end because greed has no limit, so a stage comes when she is unable to fulfill their demands. Some girls are not in a position to bring anything after their wedding. The lot of these girls is miserable. Helpless and unhappy, they find life a burden. Many of them cannot bear it anymore and commit suicide. Some of them, who cannot find enough courage to do so, are burnt alive by husbands and in-laws.

Unfortunately, marriage has become a business deal. Financial considerations are given more importance than anything else. The basic purpose of marriage is to bring life partners together for a happy life. But this is no longer the case.

The society has progressed. Many traditions and customs have been given up as obsolete. But strangely enough the custom of dowry has not only continued but has become more widespread. It is prevailing among the rich as well as the poor. The educated are also not free from it. Almost all communities practise this custom

Growing materialism is responsible for the custom of dowry becoming more widespread. Values have undergone a sea change. Human beings are no longer humane. Money is the only yardstick to judge a man. Human greed has become limitless. The evil of dowry is one of the outcomes of this change.

In many cases, affluent parents of girls are responsible for the offer of a higher dowry they think that boys and professional people like doctors, engineers and those working with MNCs are worth securing at any price. Now-a-days, service in a foreign country also carries a premium. This has been a problem for many parents who cannot fall in line with the system. In many parts of the country, the form of dowry is practised in various ugly shapes. In certain marriages the total sum spent goes in lakhs of rupees. In some communities the details about the quality and quantity of gold, refrigerators furniture pieces and cars are decided at the time of ‘settlement’ of marriage.

Everyone is shocked at this social evil and everyone wants to check it. However, the social reformers and the government have not met with much success. The Dowry Prohibition Act was passed in 1961. But it has not made any difference. The demanding and receiving of dowry continues unchecked. On the contrary, the quantum of dowry has increased. The shamelessness of parents has increased too much. Several women’s organisations have come into being in order to check this evil. They expose the parents who demand dowry and harass the daughters-in-law. They help the law in arresting the culprits who compel the helpless girls to commit suicide or bum them alive. All India Women’s Conference, National Commission for Women and a host of NGOs such as ‘Saheli’ and ‘Janawadi Mahila Santa are doing good work to curb the evil of dowry.

The government has been anxious to check this evil. A Joint Select Committee of Parliament and the Law Commission were constituted to study the problem of dowry. They made certain recommendations. The Parliament considered the recommendations and passed the Amendment (The Dowry Prohibition Act,.1961) Bill on 17th August 1984. However, this evil cannot be checked only by passing laws. Certain other measures will also have to be taken. Religious leaders should openly declare that asking for dowry is a sin. The families seeking dowry should be socially boycotted. Financial aid should be given to the women’s organisations involved in checking the evils of dowry.

The young boys and girls should come forward and decide to marry without dowry. They should not come under the pressure of parents. Educational institutions should join hands with other organisations in fight against the dowry system. Both at the college and school level, efforts should be made to educate the students about this evil. Even children should be made to read stories dealing with the ill-effects of dowry. The young minds should be made to grow along the right lines. The elders will, of course have to change their attitude. If they want to wipe off the blot from the face of Indian society they will have to give up their greed.

The media will have to play a positive role. In fact, now-a-days, the media encourages the dowry system. Daily advertisements on TV show the would-be bride persuading the parents to give dowry. A particular brand of TV is asked for, or parents express the desire to buy a particular brand ‘of cushion for the daughter. This has an unhealthy effect. All marriages should be registered. Al gifts (total value, say, a couple of thousand of rupees) should also be recorded at that time in the court.

There was time when people used to feel happy over the giving away of their daughters in marriage. Today, they feel troubled at the fear of their daughters being burnt if the in-laws turn out to be dowry-hungry.

It is argued that there is nothing wrong with the system. Dowry is not all that evil if it is taken in true spirit. There is nothing wrong if it is offered voluntarily. Evil creeps in only when the bride’s parents are to meet the exorbitant demands of the bridegroom and his parents. Legislation against dowry is full of loopholes. Unless the giving or taking of dowry is made a cognizable offence, the authorities cannot take notice of it. They can do so only on a complaint and hardly anyone comes forward to complain.

This evil cannot be put to an end, if one section—the affluent is permitted to practise it and the other is advised to refrain from it.

The affluent few would have done their bit for the abolition of this evil if they dispense with the practice of dowry in any form. The encouraging feature is that now many people are becoming aware of the cruel consequences of the dowry system. Joint efforts by the women’s organisations, the government and the socially enlightened people are likely to yield results. Of course, it would be long before this evil can be stamped out.


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