Introduction: Dowry system has become a menace in society nowadays. It is in fact, an unlawful system prevailing in today’s society. It has become very difficult to find a suitable match for a girl without payment of huge money as dowry.
What is dowry: Dowry m.eans the money or property that a wife or her family has to pay to her husband before or after marriage. In Bengali, dowry has a synonym. ‘Joutuk’.
It originates: The custom of giving dowry to the husband originated in Hindu community. According to this system, the father gives the daughter gifts in cash or in-kind at the time of marriage. In course of time, this bad system of giving wedding gifts has got its place in the Muslim community.
Causes for .pay1nent of dowry: Illiteracy and greed of a section of people are the sole causes of this evil system. Many boys and even the parents of the sons are greedy. They want to change their fortune at the rich gifts of the bride. Some rich people also encourage this system. They give a lot of money and other valuable gifts to the husbands of their daughters. They spend a lot of money for their daughter’s dowry.
Real picture of dowry in Bangladesh: ‘Wife killed by Husband’, Wife Bruised and sent to Het father’s Home’, -such news headlines are very common in nowadays dailies. Being interested in the message, as we read the first paragraph of the report, we discover that it has happened due to the non-fulfillment of the demand of dowry. The evil practice of dowry has made marriage as a commercial transaction.
Impact of dowry: The impact of dowry is very destructive and dangerous. Even a day laborer can not think of the marriage of his daughter without giving gifts for the bridegroom. If the daughter’s dowry falls short of the expectation of her husband and his parents, they will insult and mistreat her. She may be threatened with divorce. Most of the parents who are poor have to sell their only asset to fulfill the unbearable demand of their daughter’s husband.
Measures: Necessary measures should be taken against dowry system. The government has promulgated laws to stop this evil system. People must realize the bad effects of dowry and stop it at any cost. Education of women is also necessary. A well-educated girl can stand on her own feet. She also commands the respect of the people around her.
Campaign: The campaign against dowry system must be turned into a social movement. We must remember that both giving and receiving dowry is an offense. The people who will take dowry must be punished. The media of the country can play an important role against dowry system. Radio and television must telecast different programmes showing the evils of dowry system. Public opinion against dowry system must be created. We must take a vow, “We will not take dowry at the time of marriage.”
Conclusion: Dowry is social cancer no doubt. We have to eradicate this problem from our society. It is not a blessing but a curse for the parents of the bride. To save a woman from the curse of dowry system is a burning issue.