This topic needs a debate! Today I was at the Stack Exchange website for the Hindusim Religion where I came up with the question for the Origin of Dowry in Hinduism. I was interested (I have always been interested in such topic where the subject is the battle of sexes, so) in that topic, so I went on to read it. I found alot of opinions there and entire page was full of opinions. I had a total disagreement with the people there who were saying that the dowry is a system which helps the society.
The first and fore-most thing that must be discussed here is that, dowry is a system that no religion would have introduced, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, none of that would have any evidence to prove to be the forefounders of this custom. As far as it is concerned, it is a cultural custom in which (according to me) the parents of bride are to pay this dowry as ornament, furniture, utensils etc (because of the fact that they gave birth to a girl, so sad). Atleast I don’t believe, and if you leave aside the double standard in your mind and the opinion based logic of yours about other religions you would also definitely believe that dowry is culture based not religion based system.
Well, if it is a gift by the bride’s family then its not a bad custom at all. Gifts are a source of bonding the relations and to create stronger relationships. At the time of marriage, if both the families interchange some ornaments like rings, its not a bad thing. If equal amount of gifts are passed on to both the families then its fair and good habit. Afterall if they won’t interchange how would they match up to be a good family (by being good family I mean both the families should join, to form one).
If the bride’s father is passing on the stuff to her just as they belong to her its (in my opinion) not dowry, its her right. No one can prevent her family from giving her right to her. It should not be included as a dowry and to be prohibited.
Last thing to mention here is, that dowry is no-good custom. A lot of evil is born due to this custom. In our society where we take dowry and force the girl’s family to provide the dowry in order to have their daughter married, its the main cause of male-dominancy. I remember more than a hundred news of girls being slaughtered for not bringing dowry or for the girl’s father not being economically stable to buy the motorbike for the boy. I see no excuse for the dowry being the cure to the male-dominancy.
I think, male-dominancy is the other name for the term uneducatedness. Dowry cannot prevent this, neither can any other mean. Only education is the cure, and by education I don’t mean the Algebra in Mathematics I mean the socio-economic education. Education of Islam (or any other religion) would be enough to get rid of this massacrous sin. Dowry system is a pure example of a male-dominant society where girl can’t even get married if she has nothing. Whereas she can be made girl-friend and fed what ever she wants, but if she wants to marry, she has to be economically stable like Bill Gate’s daughter.
Bottomline for this is, Dowry must be declared illegal (by prosecutors) and a sin (by the religious scholars) atleast and dowry taker must be fined the double of the amount asked for the dowry.