The devil of dowry

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - BUSHRA ME­HBOOB

Dowry is a kind of house­hold util­i­ties pack­age given by the par­ents of the bride to the bride, but in real terms to the groom or his par­ents. It may be cash amount, some fur­ni­ture, ve­hi­cle or other kind of house­hold prod­ucts. Some peo­ple be­lieve that giv­ing and re­ceiv­ing dowry will in­crease their sta­tus in so­ci­ety. Dowry is com­monly given in In­dia, Pak­istan, Bangladesh, Sir­i­lanka and Nepal. It means that it is mostly prac­ticed in south Asian coun­tries, ex­cept­ing Bhutan. If brides’ par­ents don’t have enough money to give dowry then this will badly af­fect the girl af­ter the mar­riage. Mostly, hus­bands beat their wives if they do not bring dowry from her par­ents’ home. The dowry sys­tem has given birth to many evils. Many par­ents in­vite huge debts in or­der to give dowries to their daugh­ters. They work hard dur­ing the rest of their lives to pay off the debts. Oth­ers do not hes­i­tate to earn money by un­fair means to meet the de­mand of dowry. The devil of dowry has put an end to the hap­pi­ness of many cou­ples even af­ter mar­riage. Many young mar­ried girls com­mit sui­cide when they find their do­mes­tic em­bit­tered by the daily taunts of their moth­ers-in-law. Dowry is not part of Is­lamic tra­di­tion, but is prac­ticed in many Mus­lim coun­tries. Pak­istan adopted the dowry from In­dian cul­ture. Be­fore the par­ti­tion of In­dia and Pak­istan, all peo­ple were known as In­di­ans. At that time, many Mus­lims and Hin­dus lived to­gether, and they adopted many things from each other such as the dowry, Bas­ant, etc. In re­cent years, there has been an in­crease in value of dowries in Pak­istan. Many peo­ple in Pak­istan are il­lit­er­ate and many do not want to be ed­u­cated. Lack of ed­u­ca­tion fa­cil­i­tates con­tin­u­a­tion of giv­ing a dowry. Many Pak­ista­nis be­come greedy when they think about a dowry. A dowry is a very de­spi­ca­ble rit­ual and should be abol­ished by all means in Pak­istan. There should be proper rules and laws on dowry. Proper steps should also be taken to dis­cour­age this men­ace in so­ci­ety. Young gen­er­a­tions should talk to their par­ents about this is­sue and do their best to re­duce this dis­ease. —Via email

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