Dowry system, known as “dahej pratha” in Hindi, refers to the traditional practice of providing gifts or money to the groom’s family by the bride’s family during marriage. Unfortunately, India has faced the repercussions of this system for centuries, causing distress and inequality among families.
The Meaning of Dowry System in Hindi
The dowry system, or dahej pratha, is deeply rooted in Indian society. It is a custom in which the bride’s family gives gifts, cash, or valuable assets such as jewelry, property, or vehicles to the groom’s family as a condition of the marriage. While initially, dowry was intended to be a way of helping the newlywed couple start their life together, it has transformed into a system that promotes inequality and gender discrimination.
Impact on Society
The dowry system has contributed to the marginalization of women in Indian society. In many cases, families are burdened with the pressure of arranging large dowries, often leading them into debt or financial instability. This practice has also led to the mistreatment and abuse of women, as they can be seen as a financial liability rather than a valued member of the family. Additionally, dowry-related violence and harassment have become prevalent issues affecting women across various socio-economic backgrounds.
Efforts to Eradicate the Dowry System
Over the years, various efforts have been made to create awareness and eliminate the dowry system. Legislation has been introduced to prevent dowry-related crimes, such as the Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961. NGOs, women’s organizations, and individuals have also actively campaigned against this system, promoting gender equality and empowering women.
The dowry system in India, referred to as dahej pratha, has been a social evil that perpetuates inequality and discrimination against women. Despite efforts to eradicate this practice, it continues to persist in various parts of the country. It is crucial to continue raising awareness, implementing effective laws, and promoting equality to eradicate this harmful and regressive practice from Indian society. Only then can we create a society where women are valued for their abilities and contributions, rather than their material worth.