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Dowry laws -boon or bane?

June 26, 2008


How often do we see News Channels flashing cover stories on dowry and harassment by in laws on young brides? They show the mental and physical pains inflicted on their mind and bodies. News channels in the recent past have glorified the acts of Nisha Sharmas and wannabe Nisha Sharmas. The TV Channels ensure that the lives of in laws are turned into hell which is good for the monsters.

My post here doesn’t endorse dowry or laws supporting them. My post deals with the other cheek of this monstrous face of civil laws. I have seen so many happy and closely knitted families getting ruined under the wake of dowry harassment. Young brides come up with pre decided mind to the joint families or closely knitted nuclear families and from day one try to make their mark in all audacious manners.They want to live life on their own terms. They have little patience, almost no resilience and no feelings for the essence of togetherness. Modern age brides think they are working and they are at par with the male counterpart. They emotionally blackmail the in laws and sometimes the husband to get separated and buy new house. They religiously preach the concept of DINK (double income no kids).And when the poor parents and emotional husband denies –they come up with the ultimate ultimatum (forgive the alliteration) –DO AS I SAY ELSE I’LL GO TO POLICE!! 😦

This emotionally drains the parents. They welcome the bride with great pomp and show and within few months she shows her ugly side and squeezes them. The parents and the son can’t even do anything as they are scared of police coz there’s a non bailable warrant if she reports. The worst is when the girl is supported by her parents. I really don’t know what is in her parents mind when they support her. Gone are the days when girls parents were always hospitable and told daughters –‘never a complain should come from your new home’. And now they wait for an opportunity and give warnings of police. Nowadays they are not lesser than the local goons.

But who wins in the end-no one? The husband gets emotionally separated from the parents and becomes a sandwich between the bride and parents. He remembers his mom’s food and dad’s suggestions. The parents sulk in night longing for the son and cursing them for the day they got their little prince married. The girl keeps pestering others ruining a new family.

Why our civil laws don’t take this into notice-why are they so women oriented? Click here.I agree harassment by girls is not that glorious incident as dowry but still –isn’t family development also the responsibility? Why an innocent family has to bear the brunt of it? Why do they have to live in constant fear of the demon bahu (daughter in law)? There happy home is broken by her, there dreams squashed and their hopes killed.

Girls are not having patience these days. They don’t realize there first job is of homemaking not breaking. I know it takes two to tango but when the parent in laws equally love why do they do such monstrous things to them? If it happens I am sure there will be lesser need for Old Age homes or nannies to take care of their little ones. Little kids dote on their grandparents and grandparents too shower love and teach so much to the kids. They won’t delay there conceptions till the time they can take out time to have babies. There will be no need for IVFs or stress related problems. Staying together is great and the support is tremendous.

I just hope we all find a solution to this soon. What do you think? I know there will be many opinions contradicting mine that is why I want more brain storming over this! Hope to have one! 🙂

17 Comments leave one →
  1. Sakhi permalink
    June 26, 2008 3:56 pm

    Loved your view and completely agree to this… so now it is a problem. we cant discuss as we are of same opinion! 🙂 let somebody else come up with a different view and then the brickbats will start…

  2. June 26, 2008 4:26 pm

    i live with my grand parents 🙂 but the lack of this all will also hurt,but still those people who use this to black mail are the educated…So i think education should involve some thinking for the future and help people understand what is good for them and the society

  3. June 26, 2008 4:45 pm

    You have generalised a lot of things. Why is it that you say that young brides enter their new homes with an evil attitude? It is not true at all times.
    Such things do happen, but not at every home!

  4. June 26, 2008 4:47 pm

    @ Vishesh : I don’t thing ‘education’ has anything to do with harassing husbands and breaking families. Even if we ‘learn’ about a good family and social life, crimes can be commited. It depends on the mindset of the person.

  5. June 26, 2008 8:33 pm

    @ vishesh & pri

    one of my prof one day told me , “education and culture has nothing to do with each other!” And i think he is perfectly right…

    u are right, not all brides come with evil attitude! but the way in-laws are bad same way new brides can also have the evil attitudes!

    Generally speaking all are not good and not all are bad!

  6. legalfighter permalink
    June 27, 2008 12:35 pm

    @Priya, @Vishesh, @Sakhi

    If the DIL is not bad, she will never think of filing a false dowry case on her in-laws.

    I just fail to understand how come gifts given at marriage become dowry when the marriage goes awry due to any reasons. And it is no longer a fairy tale that girls nowadays getting married with unrealistic expectations of their in-laws relenting control to them from day one and when they fail in their nefarious designs they start crying hoarse with a revengeful attitude and want to make most of the failed marriage.

  7. Sabapathy permalink
    June 27, 2008 2:12 pm


    NOWADAYS men are tortured in the hands of women by misusing newly formulated laws specially designed only for women. The law makers fully forgetting the constitutions article 14 which says all men and woman are equal before law or say equality before law. This article 14 giving equal strength to man and woman but formulating new law for women so for no law formulated by the law makers for men. Why?

    A fine case of one Mr. Rathinasabapathy who was married with Rajeswari of Howrah at Pondicherry on 4th June 2003 started their life initially at Pondicherry latter after five months shifted to Bangalore where he was employed. The husband arranged job for his wife and he had given her all possible freedom which include to visit her parental house, to wear the dresses she feel convenient. But his all these freedoms and love showered towards the wife resulted in one fine day with hand cuffs of iron. Do you believe? YES THIS IS A TRUE STORY. The husband who once tried his best to keep his wife happy meted the cruelty by the same women. The husband arranged all physical mental pleasures for his wife but not fulfilled one demand which is affecting his parents, unmarried brother and sister. The wife demand for separate dwelling that too in such a place the language of which is a strange thing to the husband and leaving the old aged sick parents here all alone was not welcomed by the husband and which only resulted in iron hand cuffing like a herded criminal and lying in illegal custody for eight days.

    The wife and her parents even not intimated him the child birth and somehow when he come to know the child birth he requested to send a snap of the child which was also not heard. For the new born the father send some gift which was also returned by the wife and her parents. Their cruelty reached at Himalayan peak when she lodged a complaint using the weapon of dowry and domestic violence act (DVA) and several other criminal section against husband and in-laws, the in-laws who never interfered her life. The question is if she really met cruelty by the hands of husband and his relatives why she had not opted to file a complaint in the jurisdiction police station which was only in walkable distance. She opted to file complaint in the Howrah police station and filed a divorce under section 13a and succeeded to get an expartee decree within 3 months of filing which is very impossible as per marriage law. The husband had not given time to file counter or for a counselling. When husband was attending for maintenance case and came out of the court he was arrested and handcuffed and remained in the custody for eight days and ninth day presented before the judicial magistrate and then kept one day in judicial custody and latter bailed out. The wife atlest shown curtsy by not opposing the anticipatory bail of in-laws.

    The women how she forget the sweetness of togetherness, how she forget the sweet face of her husband which is now also in front of her in the form of child.

    THE MEN WAS CRUSHED IN THE HANDS OF WOMEN. The men who is a M.Sc., M.Phil., earning sufficiently was now staring the sky with no hope for justice. His parents are weeping and sister, brother still in a stage of shock.

    The reward paid by the wife to her husband is the only result of misusing of newly formulated laws. The court at Howrah which have no jurisdiction neither to try the suit for divorce nor for the criminal offence as the couple married at Pondicherry and last resided place at Bangalore, where both of them were employed and as such alleged offence held in Bangalore. So the decree which is passed by the Howrah Court is improper and the complaint also liable to be quashed. But these all will happen in future.

    Wake and do something for men otherwise similar trouble tomorrow you also have to face. For this not only togetherness of men required but the togetherness of women also required.

    M. Rathina Sabapathy

  8. June 27, 2008 3:28 pm

    @ Priya- I want to clarify that this is happening in major parts of India…people are getting depressed and their families are getting ruined in the name of legal terrorism aka civil laws…………..You can’t close your eyes and say its not happening…..I am a witness to this gory thing-both my families are bearing brunt of it!
    All daughter in laws(DIL) are not scheming -I agree with you-I am one of those DIL…….But I can’t hide the fact that all DILs are super innocent …and do not harass the in laws or husband………….
    May be you’ve haven’t come across some family… this…so I respect your opinion too…

  9. June 27, 2008 3:30 pm

    @ legal fighter- Thanks for sharing your insight and commenting on the gifts part….it is so 100% percent tre..even the simple teeka money is now labelled as dowry from the girl’s parents and they keep harrassing innocent families about it………and innocent families fearing the glare of police in their average happy home continue bearing their tantrums.

  10. June 27, 2008 3:32 pm

    @ Sabapathy- Thanks for sharing your story…the misuse of Civil Laws is not a open topic and people usually don’t know about it. Thanks for sharing your post here also reflects personal trauma I have felt in the couple of last years and bouts of depression I continue to have listening about everyday’s new atrocities committed by DILs of my very own families!

  11. June 27, 2008 11:49 pm

    Women criminals inside Indian families- 1.2 lakh women arrested in 4 years without evidence or witness(2004-2007)- this is definitely not ‘women empowerment’, its plain “women imprisonment”

    We haven’t seen these many women arrested even during Britisher’s rule!- 1.2 lakh women arrested in just 4 years 2004-2007, see the table below.

    Arrested Under
    IPC 498a (cruelty by
    husband & relatives) Women Men Total % of
    2004 27832 97825 125657 22.1
    2005 28745 98815 127560 22.5
    2006 31253 105927 137180 22.8
    2007(est. 5% increase) 32815 111223 144039 22.8
    Totals 1,20,645 4,13,790 5,34,436 22.6

    Arrested Under
    IPC 304b
    (dowry death) Women Men Total % of
    2004 4147 13972 18119 22.9
    2005 3848 13325 17173 22.4
    2006 4404 14830 19234 22.9
    2007(est. 5% increase) 4624 15572 20196 22.9
    Totals 17023 57699 74722 22.8

    Note: The average percentage of women arrested is 22.6%(for 498a-cruelty by husband & relatives) & 22.8%(for 304b-dowry death), which is 4 times more than the average of women arrested under all IPC sections(5.8%).

    Does this mean that the incidence of women criminals are 4 times more inside Indian families than in the general population!?

    Or does this anomaly mean, RIGHTLY so, that women protection laws like IPC 498a is grossly misused, especially against women themselves. Indeed these laws are misused by women criminals(who were termed as ‘Legal Terrorists’ by supreme court itself), the so called Wives, who are just feigning victims, and are an insult to every woman- The Sreemati 498a!!!.
    By the way, for the records, It took the British 10 years to arrest 5000 women (1937-47). Indian Government arrested over 87,830 women (over 17 times) in just 3 years (2004 – 2006) that also without any evidence, under section 498a of the IPC, which is just one law among these assumption based gender-biased women-protection laws.

  12. kaddhu permalink
    June 30, 2008 6:37 pm

    ok..this is slightly chauvinistic……not all brides or women r like that…and there are families who harass a new bride…..
    And some men go after other women even after marriage and then demand dowry from their wives…..
    I’m not saying women r angels…..they’re as bad….but dowry laws have been made by and large 2 support exploited women….It’s just that they r not properly implemented and are misused by many….
    I know of a very decent family whose bride left them and reported 5 counts of dowry harassment…’s obviously a lie…..but not everybody is ike that….
    The law supports the girl because she is cosidered otherwise poewerless…..
    it’s misused, but then it’s also benefited a number of exploited women…..

  13. kaddhu permalink
    June 30, 2008 6:41 pm

    women r more independent 2day…..there is really nothing wrong with that….it’s only when nebody starts misusing their freedom or privileges that it’s becomes wrong ……so I’m still for the dowry laws…..only it should b implemented with a little more logic…..

  14. bharati kurien permalink
    July 1, 2008 1:30 am

    I was harassed by my Army General in-laws. I and my child were beaten, throttled. I merely fled, left without anything, starved for about 6 months until I finally got back on my own 2 feet. They kept my jewelry, household goods etc. and even wanted the saris they had given over a decade ago. I had looked after my father in law while he had cancer, I renovated my in-laws unused home, looked after my sister in law’s child for weeks. It took a year while we got the house painted, cleaned. Meanwhile we cooked in the garage and paid rent at the same time. I was merely told how terrible I was and how I shld apologize. I asked my husband why and he said, oh, it makes her happy, do it. I did. She wanted me to eat meat, said it was too difficult if someone was a veggie. I ate meat, never complained to my parents. Anyway, after all the alcohol, violence and craziness inflicted by my husband and inlaws, I was lucky. I fled and am today totally self sufficient and happy. The sad part is they tell really amazing lies about me and that has prevented me from getting jobs. I lost an excellent job in Bombay because of this. Years later the managers involved told me this. My husband is alcoholic, but my m in law is a Radha Swami follower!

  15. Taran permalink
    July 2, 2008 10:02 am

    U knw wat,I absolutely agree with you. I too have seen such cases of demon bahus exploting the entire family.
    I mean few yrs bk I used to think dat for girls marriage is a big gamble,especially the arranged marriages.. .I mean u leave ur family nd den the rest all depends on fate.
    But after personally witnessing the kinda cases u’ve mentioned, my view has been changed. I mean for the guys the risk is probably even greater. Years of love, affection and unity of family goes up in flames once these so called “DIL” starts showing their act. and the irony is dat they do it in such a manner dat their own image is not tarnished even a bit.. all blame goes to the “in laws”!!

    Trust me, some way or the other its the K-serials playing their role in it.

    The only crux of the matter is dat its always the “shareef ppl” who suffer.

  16. July 15, 2008 7:15 pm

    Hi fruity,
    a very difficult topic to comment on.

    There is dishonesty in everyone of us, it is just the degrees that differ. I do not think we can generalise.

    You are proving to yourself that not all ‘dils’ are monsters, are you not?

    Dowry, like our caste system, was relevant many many years ago.

    The way I have understood it, it was meant to be more than just a father’s gift to his daughter. His daughter was going away to start a new life, perhaps far away. When most travel were by foot, a message could take weeks or months to reach. It was the father providing his daughter a ‘social security’, against any unexpected misfortune. So that she could fall back on her ‘dowry’ to see her through hard times, or indeed her life.

    It was not meant to be an ‘auction price’ to buy a groom. Neither was it to become the groom’s proprty. But our selfish minds and our greed made it so.

    It played in favour of the grooms for this long. Too long. The bride was rendered helpless by our social system. It is now the bride and her family exploiting the system.

    When weighing, a balance will tilt one way then the other, in decreasing degrees, till the weights have been correctly matched. That is what we are witnessing. A shift in balance – till we find the correct and a safe balance.

    The world is changing, we are changing with it. Even the dowry system will change.

    How soon?
    Depends on how brave, how honest and how selfless we can dare to be.

  17. sam permalink
    September 23, 2009 12:22 am

    I am toatally amazed with the excuses made by families to demand dowry .It is now projected as a social need , in the name of social status people now demand dowry.Irony is that society would not respect beggars , but people who are not demanding.I think people should have an open mind towards life and live for themselves not the society,It is not acceptable by educated people at all.I also consider people who give dowry equally guilty of the crime because they are supporting and further enhancing such corruptions in society,once u say no..maybe it won’t help you but will definately help in opening eyes of the greed.

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