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Taking a Stand Against Dowry: A Brave Teacher’s Petition

bride stand against dowry

In a resolute stand against the persisting social issue of dowry in India, a 27-year-old teacher from Bhopal, Gunjan Tiwari, has initiated a petition. In the petition, she urges the local police to intervene during marriage ceremonies and conduct raids to eradicate this “social evil”.

Gunjan’s impassioned plea stems from her personal experiences of enduring countless rejections by prospective suitors due to dowry demands.

The most recent incident occurred in February, when her family welcomed a young man and his relatives into their home hoping to find a suitable match.

As Gunjan entered the living room carrying a tray of steaming tea and snacks for the guests, she felt a sense of unease, realising the weight of societal expectations placed on her family.

Before stepping into the room where her potential match and his family eagerly await, Gunjan overheard her parents discussing the dowry expectations with the groom’s father. The familiarity of these circumstances weighs heavily on her.

“We had heard that they wanted 5m to 6m rupees ($61,000 – $73,000; £48,100 – £57,000). When my father asked him, he joked that ‘if your daughter is beautiful, we’ll give you a discount’,” she says.

Gunjan’s repetitive experiences serve as a sobering reminder of the persistence of the dowry system in our society. It fuels her determination to bring an end to this outdated practice and advocate for an equal and fair future.

The Unseen Consequences of Dowry

90% of Indian marriages still involve giving or accepting dowries, despite the illegality of this practice for over six decades. The cumulative payments made between 1950 and 1999 amounted to a staggering quarter of a trillion dollars.

Sadly, the consequences of dowry demands reach far beyond monetary exchange. Parents of girls are known to take on sizeable loans or even sell their property to fulfil these demands, often plunging themselves into financial ruin. Yet even this sacrifice cannot guarantee a happy future for the bride.

The entrenched nature of dowry in Indian society has only served to perpetuate gender-based discrimination and marriage inequality.

Let us come together to challenge dowry demands, break the vicious cycle, and pave the way for a brighter and more dignified future.

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