Marriage and Dowry

Topics: Marriage, Dowry, Family Pages: 7 (2869 words) Published: August 4, 2010

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1. Introduction
2. What is Dowry?
3. History
4. Arranged Marriages and Dowry
5. The dowry system
6. Dowry System in India
7. What is Bride burning?
8. Dowry law in India
9. Dowry death new ruling India
10. Rising number of dowry deaths in India
11. Marriage as a financial transaction
12. Conclusion

Today, Indian society is surrounded with many problems such as unemployment, illiteracy, population growth, terrorism, etc. Among these problems, a problem which is deep rooted in Indian society is the problem of dowry system. It has become the every day news item, no day passes away when we don't hear news relating to dowry death or dowry harassment. The irony lies in the fact that women in India are worshipped in the form of shakti, she is burned and harassed by her in-laws every day in one part of the nation or the other. Dowry, in ordinary sense, refers to money, gifts, goods or estate that wife brings to her husband in marriage The dowry has a long history in Europe, South Asia, Africa and other parts of the world. The system of dowry is deep rooted in the Indian society since the early days of the history. This system prevailed in ancient Indian society, in ancient period dowry was the part of the ritual of kanyadan which was very different from modern- dowry. Among the eight types of marriages recognized by smritis, it was only in the Brahma marriage that father gave away his daughter, with such gifts and presents as he could afford, to a man of superior character .In the medieval period, the dowry, which was earlier regarded as dakshina (gift offered willingly), became an evil, father in order to marry her daughter had to offer money demanded by groom's family. In medieval times, the dowry system had engulfed the society at alarming rate, though it was practiced in the aristocratic and royal families. The extra ordinary pride which rich people took in their ancestry was mainly responsible for this development. The youth of the bluest blood were preferred as sons-in-law by a large member of peoples, as a consequence of which their value increased in the market . The evil, which targeted the aristocratic and royal families in the ancient and the medieval period, in the British and modern period it engulfed the entire society.Time had came for the educated generation to speak against dowry. It should be understood as the need of the society to stop this evil practice.

What is Dowry?
A dowry (also known as trousseau or tocher or, in Latin, dos, or in Croatian and Slovenian, dota) is the money, goods, or estate that a woman brings to her husband in marriage. It contrasts with bride price, which is paid to the bride's parents, and dower, which is property settled on the bride herself by the groom at the time of marriage. The same culture may simultaneously practice both dowry and bride price. Dowry is an ancient custom, and its existence may well predate records of it. History

Originally, the purpose of a dowry was to provide "seed money" or property for the establishment of a new household, to help a husband feed and protect his family, and to give the wife and children some support if he were to die. A husband thus had certain property rights in his wife's dowry. In addition, the wife might bring to the marriage property of her own, which was not included in the dowry and which was, as a result, hers alone. This property was "beyond the dowry" (Greek: parapherna, the root ofparaphernalia) and was known as paraphernal property or extra-dotal property. Even in the oldest available records, such as the Code of Hammurabi, the dowry is described as an already-existing custom. Regulations surrounding the custom include: the wife being entitled to her dowry at her husband's death as part of her dower, her dowry being inheritable only by her own children, not by her husband's children by other women, and a woman not...
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