There were number of incidents that forced me to think about this topic. Some of them are described below:
I came to know of a girl whose father had to sale his kidneys just to bear the expenses of dowry. It looked as though dowry was more important to them then the girl because the things they got in dowry were not according to their demand so they kept torturing the girl and at last she committed suicide to get herself out of all of that fuss. Another breathtaking incident took place in my house. I had a maid working at my place since her childhood. She got married but because of limited resources her parents could not afford that much dowry as her in-laws were expecting and the consequences of that so called mistake was worst than expected, and she was burnt alive!
Dowry is the goods, money or estate that a woman brings to her husband in marriage or it is what the girl’s parents give to groom and his family in the form of cash or in kind. According to Altekar, dowry was generally unknown to Indian societies and even to ancient Hindus. Dowry, or some form of marriage payment, is hardly unique to India. Of the 563 societies listed in George P Murdock's Atlas of World Cultures, only 24% of the total are associated with dowry systems, 226 with bride wealth (grooms' families making payments to brides' families), and 63 with bride service (grooms contributing labor to brides' families in lieu of money). Because of no concept of inheritance in India, Indians give the part of their property in the kind or cash and other necessities of life to their daughter and she was “cut off” from their natal families after marriage. Gradually people started treating this tradition as a culture and then an important part of the marriage that feed the roots of the dowry problem. People are now following this tradition in almost every corner of the world.
What does the in-laws want, a...