Demons of dowry are drowning human dignity

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Ayesha Banu Makrani Case…

By: Er. Ishfaq Khaliq

Recently a video a girl wearing black hijab and abaya was trending on social media. It was the video she took before jumping into a river and ending her life. She was 23-year-old Ayesha Banu Makrani of Ahmadabad. In the viral video she was seen saying “Granting Freedom to Arif” before she jumped into Sabarmati river. Arif Khan, her husband, is a native from Pali Rajasthan.

On investigations it was found that Arif was constantly pressuring Ayesha and his family for dowry from 2019. So this young woman was the latest case of dowry death. Dowry is a social evil in the society, that has caused unimaginable tortures and crimes against women. The monster of dowry has taken lives of women from all sections of society; from all religious groups; from all economic classes and from all regions. However, it is the poor section of the society, that suffer the most.

It is because of the prevalent dowry system that daughters are not valued as much as the sons in the society. Many a times it has been seen that daughters are treated as liabilities. In our region Kashmir we have also seen similar type of problem with daughters. We have seen strong cases related to dowry system although most of the cases had not been highlighted but the ugly reality is staring in our faces.

It is because of the dread of dowry that we a good number of girls have passed marriageable age because their parents are in no position to pay hefty amounts, luxurious cars and other valuable items to get their daughters married. The late marriages have resulted in stressful life for the daughters and parents as well. The dowry system is the main hurdle in marriages in our society. Recently a Srinagar based NGO had done survey and it was seen in Srinagar alone we have 15000 to 20000 daughter’s who have attained the age of 40 plus and are not getting married.

So, it is unto the society at large to understand the situation. It is up to all of us to take active steps in bringing about the necessary changes and stop either giving or taking dowry. We must all know that we should start valuing our daughters first, so that others know their worth once they grow up. There are few important steps to eradicate the evil of dowry system in our society like:

(1) Educate your daughters as much as you can.

(2) Encourage them to have their own career.

(3) Teach them to be independent and responsible.

(4) Discourage and delegitimize practice of giving and taking dowry

There are some grave issues regarding girls that we as society need to take care of. While launching dowry prohibition imitative, we need to keep in mind the following factors:

  • The parents don’t lay enough emphasis on educating their daughters, as they feel that husband will support them later.
  • The poorer section of society sends their daughters out to work and earn some money, to help them save up for the dowry.
  • The regular middle- and upper-class backgrounds do send their daughters to school, but don’t emphasize career options.
  • The very wealthy parents who happily support their daughters until they get married and fork out a high dowry without questioning.

Education and independence is one powerful and valuable gift that you can give to your daughter. This will in turn help her to be financially sound and be a contributing member of the family, giving her respect and right status in the family. Provide your daughter with a solid education, encourage her to pursue a career of her choice is the best dowry parents can ever give to their daughters.

Besides, the girls are to be educated about their rights – both at parental home and at in-laws. Domestic abuse, as per the law of the land, is a serious crime and the law enforcing agencies have kept dedicated phone lines and other social media platforms available for women to report about any abuse be it dowry related or something else. Girls should be made aware of these laws at home and in schools so that they are not exploited by anyone at any stage.

The writer hails from Dadasara Tral, Pulwama.



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