Dowry: A Male Perspective on a Social Evil

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Even in this modern world, demanding dowry has become a trend, every person secretly wishes to get a good amount in dowry. My name is Rahul and I am from the city of Allahabad. This story is about my marriage, a marriage that was nearly called off due to the social evil that is dowry. 

I did my engineering in Delhi and during my college days I fell for a girl named Richa. After mustering the much-needed courage I expressed my feelings to her, and she responded with a YES, thus the college years passed like a soft breeze. In our final year of college, both of us were offered good jobs. We both got a job in Delhi and  started working here.  We had  decided that after a few years of working, we’d get married, but this was not the case. Within one year of starting our jobs, Richa’s parents started to pressurise her to get married.

After her parents’ pressure became intolerable, Richa finally told them about me. Her parents immediately invited me to come and meet them. They told me that they did not object to me marrying their daughter. They also expressed their desire to meet my parents as well.  By then, even I had made up my mind to tell my parents about Richa and  I knew that my parents would not object to our marriage as well. 

But when I informed my parents, they gave me a shock by saying that they had got many marriage proposals for me and some of the suitors were even willing to give 20 lakhs to make me their son-in-law. Then they asked me how much Richa’s parents were willing to give. My parents made it very clear  to me that my marriage would  only happen after they go their dowry.

I didn’t want to lose Richa and I couldn’t even say so in front of my parents. When I told Richa about everything, she told me that her parents would never agree to a marriage that involved dowry. She said that her parents were against the practice of dowry and had not even taken dowry for her brother’s marriage. She also told me that if my parents asked for dowry, her parents would call off the wedding.  Richa asked me to talk to my father and make him understand this,  but I knew that this would  be of no use so I decided to resolve this problem on my own.

I thought that two capable people who are earning well could marry by spending their  own money, but unfortunately, my parents thought differently.  I could never imagine my life without Richa, so I decided to give the dowry amount to Richa without telling my parents. This way my parent’s condition for dowry would be fulfilled and Richa’s parents would also never learn about it. The next day I went to the bank and took a personal loan of 15 lakhs and together with the 5 lakh rupees in my savings account, I transferred all the money to Richa’s brother Arun’s bank account and the next day her brother gave the money to my father. Arun, speaking on behalf of the entire family,  told my father that their family was against dowry and that my father mustn’t mention this to them. 

My parents were very happy with a working daughter-in-law, 20 lakhs of dowry, and the gifts given by Richa’s parents. They were happy because they thought their reputation and value in the society will increase. In today’s society, people believe that if somebody doesn’t get any dowry, their respect in the society decreases. Whatever I did, made Richa and me a married couple and made both our parents very happy. 

But just for the sake of my happiness, I lied to my parents. Was it a mistake to hide it from them?  These questions still haunt me? Did I do the right thing?

You tell me….

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