Bride burning: An example of violence against women
Imagine the horror of being forcefully tied down, drenching in kerosene oil and being set on fire alive. It would not be a surprise if the mere thought of it is already disturbing to you. How much more so would it be that this bitter fate is truly faced by many married women in India not at the hands of some psychos or strangers, but by their own so-called beloved husbands and or in-laws? A young woman is either being burnt alive, beaten to death or being forced to commit suicide at someplace in India, almost every four hours for not being able to provide the demand of dowries. (Stone) The word dowry in the ordinary sense means properties or resources that are given to the bridegroom and his family at the time of marriage from the bride’s family for accepting her to their home permanently. Dowry is, therefore, a compensatory payment to the family which agrees to shelter her hypothetically for the rest of her life. (Ahmad). “The nature of property may be movable or immovable. Movable property generally consists of cash, clothes, furniture, ornaments, cycle or car and many other articles and immovable property includes land, house and shop or factory, etc.”(Hooja, 3) Historically, the dowry was referred as gift given voluntarily and it was restricted only to the Brahmins as the symbol of the highest caste. Today the dowry often refers to expensive material objects demand by the bridegroom’s family as opposed to voluntarily given and it is unfortunately becoming customary across many different castes and social groups. (Stone) Although dowry is possibly the single largest cause of bride burning as well as other forms of domestic violence against women; the inequality between genders, an increase in consumerism and the growing greed of balancing the social status with material objects also serves to be the motivations in committing the crime of bride burning. (Jeail) In India, a daughter is often neither...
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