In the good old days dowry comprised the number of voluntary gifts or donations given by the parents and relatives of bride to the bridegroom so that the newly wed couple could settle their home.

It was considered as a partial fulfillment of needs required during early part of marital life. But the concept of dowry has undergone a drastic changes. The gifts witch used to be given on voluntary basis to the bride are demanded on a huge scale by the groom.

The parents of bride are compelled to fulfill the enormous necessities, amenities and luxuries. The solemn and happy occasion of marriage has now been changed to ritual of spendthrift and costly compulsion. The menace of dowry has greatly harmed its sanctity of union of two souls.

The present form of dowry system seems to have evolved due to increasing trend of materialism and the greedy nature of modern man . The lust to acquire money through easy methods seem to increase the trend and quantum of dowry.

It has not only become the custom of the rich but the poor are also expected to follow similar traditions. The plite of the have-nots is precarious. They are compelled to borrow, beg or steal to fulfill the demands of in-laws of their daughter.

The dowry system has turned to be a social stigma mainly due to moral degradation and downfall in spiritual values. The ill effects of this evil are evident on our society and some of these attract our attention which need immediate remedial measures.

Remedial measures :-

– Dowry system has greatly damaged the social status of women and degraded the high sounding tradition of our country.

– The marriages seem to have because commercial bargains. The bride and grooms of different castes, status and ranks are bought with specific prices. Doctors, engineers , officers , armed force personals etc have their own values.

– Dowry system breeds corruption, bribery and crimes.

– Maltreatment of brides with the family of in laws. The girls are sometimes harassed of tortured to the extent of their taking extreme stop of compelled suicide .

– The heinous crime of bride burning is also in the news.

– Certain cases of suicides are observed when the parents of their girls are unable to reach to the expectations of bride groom’s family.

– Pre-natal abortion of female child also seems to be the root cause of the increasing levels of dowry.

– Un happy family life has ruined the amicable relations.

– Increasing cases of divorce due to increasing hatred and frustration.

– Many girls are unable to find their life partner due to insufficient arrangement of dowry.

– Sometimes, the girl of high physical, mental and educational status has to marry a groom of relatively lower status. This breeds quarrels and ultimate separation.

With the passage of time, the right thinking persons have come to realize that if this evil menace is not checked, it is likely to engulf the very social system of harmonious matrimony.

A few reliable methods are suggested to end the monster of dowry system :-

– Provide equal status to the women in our society and thus revive the age old tradition of due regards and high esteem to the ladies.

– Consider marriage as a sacred ceremony that involves union of two souls.

– Revive the moral values of respect and love among the families of bride and bridegroom.

– Follow the guidelines and sermons of holy saints who always preach for love and amity for each other , harmony in the family, shun the greed for wealth, try to live on the self-earned income. The saints clearly explain that taking or giving dowry is not only a social evil but also a personal sin. Any attempt to tease or hurt the feelings of fellow beings brings moral degradation which becomes hinderance in spiritual emancipation.

– The system of simple marriage (without dowry) is totally implemented at Dera Sacha Sauda with blessings of His Holiness Saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan.

– Development of strong will power among the youth to give or accept dowry can play an important role. Many cases have been reported where the prospective brides have refused to marry particular persons who intend to demand dowry. Such praiseworthy determination should be encouraged and given proper coverage in the newspapers.

– The dowry prohibition act has been promulgated since 1961. The law should be implemented in true sense and spirit. It should be modified and amended according to the present circumstances to deal strictly with the offenders.

– Social organizations should launch a massive campaign to bye-cot the menace of dowry system.

– The girls should adopt to the job oriented courses of education. They should try to be self reliant and independent in their earnings.

– Boys & Girls should be educated to lead a life of dignity blended with love for younger and respect for elders.

Therefore, joint, collective, concerted and determined efforts of the parents, youth, social organizations, and kind blessings of saints the government can bring culmination of the dreaded menace of Dowry system. It is sincerely hoped that the coming generation shall live happily by putting an end to this social stigma.

Dr. Triloki Nath Chugh Co-ordinator, Shah Satnam Ji Educational Institutions Sirsa