– National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data shows a rising graph in the number of dowry cases registered:
– ~9,000 for 2012
– 10,050 for 2014
Can it be a case of misuse of dowry laws by women?
We cannot say for sure. Supreme Court has pointed out in 2014 that section 498A has “dubious pride of place amongst the provisions that are used as weapons rather than shield by disgruntled wives”.
Has the acceptability of Dowry increased in society?
- Dowry, or to use its more acceptable euphemism, wedding ‘gift’, is now so ingrained in our cultural beliefs that, in Tamil Nadu, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam manifesto promises eight grams of gold for every wedding and there is not even a flutter of protest from either activists or opposition parties.
- Some ads of different brands on the tv, shows that no marriage is complete without gold. Ads are not obligated to push social messaging. But the consumerist trend percolates down
- There are those who argue that a voluntary ‘gift’ of gold or a motorcycle or a flat or a fridge is not dowry but mummy–papa’s thoughtful gesture to help a young couple get started in life
Nearly 60 years after the Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961, we need to ask why there is more, not less dowry; why the big fat Indian wedding has got bigger and fatter