The good, the bad and the dowry

I guess this is a subject which has been "beaten to death" in India, by the media and even by the government itself. So this post is not so much about dowry, as it is about "good" and "bad" with respect to dowry. Good and bad dowry? What is good about dowry, you may ask. Well, to some of us it is very evident that dowry is a bad practice and it must be done away with. We cannot even imagine that someone would think of it as "good". But again, this post is not about that either!

A male colleague of mine is getting married. He told me that there wasn't going to be any dowry involved in this wedding. Well I have been telling everyone what a good thing that is, and I am really very happy that people are starting to inculcate this. But another (female) friend said, not taking dowry doesn't make you good! It makes you "not bad". There is nothing great about not taking dowry. If you do, of course you are a low-life of the worst sort (my words) but if you don't there is no virtue in it. It is what you are supposed to do!

Well I happen to disagree. In a place where most people get degrees to get a dowry, and even young software engineers of 25 say "well, dowry is a must", we must admire the person who doesn't take any. Even if it was because his parents are opposed to it, and it was no decision of his. Because I think that good and bad are relative in situations like this. When the norm is "bad" then anyone better than the norm isn't "not bad" but is good!


Anshuman Ghosh said...

well in certain cases somebody might argue that there are 3 states - the good, the bad, and the grey area (mayve i shd say the 'alright' state)

But when there are topics like dowry , i would prefer to do away with the grey area. If you believe in dowry, may you roast in hell. If u oppose it, maybe you be toasted in heaven!

P.S : there is no territory between hell and heaven , choose one ;)

Aparna said...

Agree with anshuman there.

And don't want to get started on the dowry topic, it makes me so exasperated when guys in their 20's look blank if you ask them , 'don't you think this is a bad practice?' In fact, one of my friends' parents, who got married to her boyfriend of 5 years, had to pay a dowry...which is outrageous. On asking, she said, 'I don't want to cause more trouble, as I had already caused one by choosing my husband myself, so let the marriage just happen, I don't want to interfere. If my parents can't afford to pay the dowry, I'lls tep in and help them out with my money.' I am not exactly complaining against her, I am aghast at the mentality of her boyfriend-now-husband who could agree to this.

Mithun Kumar said...

Good or Bad, I dunno 'bout that...

All I know is, "I'm not for sale!!!"

Dowry is nothing but selling urself to the bride's family...
Any self-respecting, earning MAN wanna do that ???

Not me surely :D

KoPoS said...

lol. totally agree with anshuman. but have to agree with the groom you were talking about. the problem is so deeply etched in the marriage institution that in ap a groom not wanting to take a dowry is taken as a sign of a deficiency.

Anshuman Ghosh said...

not wanting a dowry is a sign of deficiency !?
ok how abt this - go the manmohan singh way : take Re.1 as dowry (just cause some people cant do without ;-D )

Alpha0 said...

I find this concept of dowry okay as long as it is at the will of girls parents.

There is positive side of dowry.
Let us say we are siblings ( me and my sister)..and we have a property of some 2 crores.
She gets married and we dont give any dowry..All property stays with me.

What happens if some thing goes wrong in her life?
She is left with nothing.

Tanushree said...

What happens if some thing goes wrong in her life? She is left with nothing.>

There is such a thing known as inheritance laws. We do not live in 18th century england that only the eldest son inherits the estate of the father!

Aparna said...

What happens if some thing goes wrong in her life?

Are you trying to say that whatever is given as dowry, I mean hard cash and things such as cars, bikes, TV, fridge, etc. remain as the girl's property? I don't think so. Even her jewellery is claimed by the in-laws if 'something goes wrong in her life' or in other words - she gets a divorce or is a widow. In fact, if it is the latter, I suppose if she is not working, the husband has to plan his insurance properly and not depend on FIL to see him through.
If you are talking about her husband or in-law going through a rough patch, well, then they can ask for help at that juncture, but taking dowry to tide them over for future crises is sheer bad logic.

Hardy said...

Sorry Sir/Madam,
In my opinion Dowry when clubbed with lust is deplorable, but Lust for money and luxries is deplorable anyway.
The problem is not only with boy's is with girl's family also. If somebody asks for dowry which you think is not appropriate why do not you refuse that guy straight way.The argument that one asks for dowry when marriage is nearing or after marriage is also flawed. If marriage is broken both parties have to suffer and answer to society. You may say that marriage of a girl after it has broken once is difficult.
But then you can easily see that the problem is not dowry but the fact that we(including girl's family) treat women as weak. We should rather try to tackle the fact that if a marriage is broken women retain the same respect as does the boy's family. The solution lies in making and treating women strong and it is for women themselves to understand this first. In nutshell the logic that you should punish people asking for dowry because women are weak is very fragile. If in any marriage a women feels she is being treated just as source of money, she should call it quit immediately(as she never can ever be happy in such family).
Gifts( the Bad word for which is Dowry) in my opinion should be given parents of both boy and girl to the couple. After all parents have earned all their life only to see their children settled and secure in life. But before giving them any money in their hands they should make sure that they have made their sons and daughters realise the value of money and how the money should be spent judiciously and wisely on they(the two and their family) themselves.Let parents educate their children's on how to manage hard earned money, when to trust others in money matters e.t.c. If parents of girl/boy have not taught their children this basic principle either those parents or their children are to be blamed and not somebody else.

Guys/Gals if you are foolish and someone takes money away from you by playing with you, in my opinion, there is and should be no law in world that should save you.Forget about dowry, this is a universal statement. SO Girls and Guys use whatever your parents have given you judicioudly even if it on each other. That is the moral. Do not hide behind anti dowry statements/laws to protect you if you yourself are fools on not knowing how to manage your own money. Stop harping anti dowry statements just because you think someone can easily cheat you.
Where is dowry stands wrong is the fact that people treat others in inhumane way because they themselves need money from others.For inhumane treatment there are already laws to handle it.
I think women/man in such a relationship should be shunned by other immediately. The day most of us understand this concept, the in-humane dowry concept will die its own death.
The humane dowry concept(parents passing on what they earned in life to their children) is going to stay for ever.Because that is the way the life on earth(and not only in human society) has evolved.

I have some more to add, but will do so after your response.Rgds