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A social menace

A few months ago, my cousin got married. I was so excited about her wedding; well, weddings are supposed to be exciting and enjoyable, but it didn’t really go as planned though.

When you are a child, weddings are all about dressing up, eating, and dancing around with your friends and cousins. Just too much fun, no worries at all. I too had the same concept of weddings, but unfortunately, I grew up, became an adult and my immunity against the worries and complexities faded away, and as a result a different kind of truth unleashed itself, and to be honest, I didn’t really like it.

I belong to a lower middle-class family, and for families like mine, weddings are about inviting guests we don’t even know, and spending way more than we can actually afford. These weddings are simply a fancy way to get ourselves under hefty debts for the rest of our lives. Well, this definition specifically applies to the bride’s family or may I say “the inferiors”. We all know how in 20th century and the centuries before, the evil custom of dowry prevailed all over India. So many daughters suffered and lost their lives to this horrible custom. But now we are in 21st century, the century of updates and upgrades. We are educated, well-behaved, modern people, we know what is wrong and what is right. We know that dowry is a heinous, punishable crime, so we are supposed to eliminate this social evil for good, but as I stated before, the 21st century people have upgraded this dowry system as well, including some new “beggar friendly” features. A special code language has been created for its perpetration, which is helpful and convenient in conveying one’s demands without attracting any unwanted attention.

In this code language, someone says, “We just want your daughter, and nothing else.” In common language, it can be translated as “We want your daughter, jewelled with every type of jewel possible, along with a TV, an air conditioner, a king-size bed, a sofa set, a dining table, an SUV and some cash.” See, how much time and effort this code language saves?

I once asked my grandpa why do we have to fulfil these demands of the groom’s family? He simply said, “Because we are giving them our daughter; if we treat them right, then only, they will treat her right.” But honestly, this whole system is off my understanding.

I have always seen that the donor is always respected and honoured by the recipient, then why is it completely opposite in case of weddings, why the bride's family is treated as inferior, why they have to accept all their ridiculous behaviour and demands? So many unexplained whys. I don’t know the answers to these whys, as I am just a 20-year-old unwise girl but there was this wise man named Vivekananda, who once said, “If there is a sin in the world, it is weakness; avoid all weakness, weakness is sin, weakness is death, and here is the test of truth — anything that makes you weak physically, intellectually and spiritually, reject as poison, there is no life in it, it cannot be true.”

I believe every single word of it and I believe that the change can be brought with every single voice that is raised to condemn and eliminate this evil. As a girl, for me, it’s a simple resolution that I would rather stay single than pay someone to marry me.

himani02042001@gmail.com


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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 2:29:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/a-social-menace/article34986722.ece

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