Gender Parity,  Popcorn Zone

Harassment to Women- Dowry Deaths

The news about the tragic death of Manjula Davek was doing the rounds on social media. All of 28 years, the young PhD student had been found hanging in her hostel room in IIT Delhi. It quite was disturbing to read about it. Here was a girl on the verge of completing her research from the country’s premier institute, having published papers in international journals. A girl of high intellect had been pushed to the extreme step of taking her own life. The police are clueless on the reason, as there wasn’t a suicide note left behind. However, her family and friends cite dowry harassment and domestic abuse as the reason behind the step.

Now if this is what the actual reason is, I surely am appalled! We have, as a country, made tremendous advancements in various fields. We have launched satellites and have pushed our economy on the path of development. Yet, behind all this progress, there still lurks within, the ugliness of harassment of women. I wonder if our whole education system, our society and everything else women are part off, actually are empowering them completely!!!

I had been thinking about this, the entire Sunday. It was only when evening came by that I sat relaxed chit-chatting with a neighbor of mine. As we sat discussing random things, she gave me insights on the typical Indian wedding that she had had. A lavish one, it had been, a farmhouse wedding with over five hundred guests, extravagant decorations, shimmering jewelry and clothes, multiple ceremonies et al, costing probably a couple of millions. Luckily in my friends case, it was all well within their affordability.

Surely it was a light hearted conversation. But a thought did strike me. We exist in a country where a significantly large percentage of the society, place the load of a wedding on the girl’s family. Expenses of the wedding, food, jewelry, venue etc… are to be borne by the bride’s side. Indian weddings are loaded with traditions and ceremonies, with expenditures almost always tilting largely towards the girl’s family. There is considerable anxiety, stress, and an element of pressure the girl’s family goes through to be able to deliver a “good” marriage.

With the Indian Penal Code, taking strict actions against Dowry, the practice of giving cash to the groom’s party has become minimal. Yet, the pressure to please the prospective groom and their family by giving away expensive gifts persists largely. Such gifts are not considered as dowry. And the plight of a family that isn’t able to live up to such expectations is pitiable.

No wonder the girl child is still considered a financial liability and her birth gets a luke-warm welcome. Can this ever change? Not until the cost of the wedding is shared by both the families. Until then, we would find more women succumbing to the pressure and harassment meted out to them.

Linking this post to #ChattyBlogs hosted by Shantala Nayak @ Shanaya Tales

*Featured Image Source: Pixabay

Spread the love
  • 4


  • Dashy

    True Ramya! In fact, finance in a marriage is only a small fraction of the bigger problem of gender equality. It is sad how society seems to show little growth in mindset despite advancing to this 21st century digital era. The problem can only be tackled from the grassroots when equality and proper conscience is planted in the minds of little ones during education.

  • Obsessivemom

    This was terribly shocking and so very sad. It just goes to show that all the education in the world can not change the inherent midst of people unless they themselves see the evils they are perpetuating and do something about it. What a waste of a wonderful life.

  • shanayatales

    This is truly appalling! One would think that with her level of education, she would know better. But I guess the societal pressure has a bigger influence than we account for.

    I can’t even imagine what her family and friends must be going through. I wish the groom’s side never have a day of peace in their lives. But even that would be letting them off easy.

    • Ramya Abhinand

      Yup Shantala, it indeed sad. ANd if her level of education hasnt boasted her up, then it has failed too somewhere!!!

  • Shalet Jimmy

    It’s high time girls show some courage. We are putting the blame on society at the same most of us are not trying to show an extra courage.. Secondly, though her body was found in her hostel room and there was no forced entry, the possibility of a murder cannot be ruled out. I don’t know why police is not exploring that angle…What if there any another story which no one knows?

    Shalet Jimmy

  • Uma Chellappa

    Sorry, published before commenting fully. Indeed the fad of lavish weddings is truly a concern. The expenses ideally should be borne by the individuals and if not, the cost shared equally between the two sides. Let’s hope the coming generation is more sensitive and sensible.

  • Uma Chellappa

    Indeed a sad state of affairs if that’s the reason. Yet, with a strong educational background such as hers, I wonder why the need to take such a drastic step instead of just going separate ways. Of course, it doesn’t help to dissect a situation that isn’t ours especially in the aftermath of a tragedy.

    • Ramya Abhinand

      Whatever the reason, I fel many things have failed, the education, the society etc… And we can only live in the hope that the future does have a better generation in store!

  • parwatisingari

    Ramya the solution to this lies in the hands of the girl, it would start with putting an end to an arranged marriage, Unfortunately the hype of KJo movies has started the trend of destination weddings, mehendi, sangeet even in the South and believe me it is the bride and the groom who want it not their parents. I mean not even the grooms parents. Last week I went for a wedding where both the sets of parents told the couple well we will host a traditional one day south indian wedding anything else is your look out. Stag parties and bachlorette parties have also become part of this. There was this destination wedding planner who was offering the client a male stripper!! she was negotiating this sitting in the local tea shop.

    • Ramya Abhinand

      Get what you are saying. It is an entire vicious circle. the marriage, the expense the ceremonies. Somewhere I feel the whole sanctity seems to have lost in the extravagance

      • parwatisingari

        You are right, I had this group of students, shetty and Nair combination in goa, 🙂 they came up with a play called Kanyadaan,, after the expense and effort on the bridal dress and costume the bride says half an hour wedding does not make sense, she wants a KJohar wedding with the saat-phere, and works at the end of the play they left the audience with a question who is responsible for the woman becoming a commodity, in current social structure.
        It offended the conservative Hindutva crowd.

  • Ramya

    Rightly said. I think, this generation women should stress on the concept of sharing wedding expenses and stand against dowry abuse and ofcourse pass it on to next generation which include men. I feel very sad that an educated and intelligent woman who has access to more information to stand against domestic violence also feel pray for this. The society and friends around her might have helped her. If this the plight of educated woman, what about others.

Have something to say?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: