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January 11, 2010

Conditions for a middle class family’s daughter to get married — 50 tolas of gold( 1 tola is approx 11 gm and  10 gms about Rs. 16000/- , so now calculate how much 50 tolas will cost) + 50,000 for the boys clothes, chain etc + the regular expenses in the marriage + whatever the girl’s parents wants to give to girl, after all they will be giving it to the daughter

This was demanded from a close acquaintance of my family few days back.

From where would the father arrange this amount? He has three more daughters of marriageable age.

Giving gifts to a newly married couple at the time of marriage is an age old tradition, which was started to help the new couple set up their house and live a comfortable life.

And whatever the girl gets from her parents side is called as stree dhan i.e all that she gets belongs to her and she is entitled to get it back in case the marriage breaks up( Indian law has provision for it)

Dowry is the other name of stree dhan. Although it is treated and should be named as Sasural Dhan

Amongst the well to do families   dowry includes big flats in posh localities, latest models of cars, foreign vacations, jewellery for in-laws etc etc..Depending on the financial status of the boy’s side the dowry limits are set.

The best part is the boys side demand all this as,” this is for your daughter”. “We don’t want anything”

if they don’t want it then why are they asking for it? And can’t the son or the family provide the comforts which they are demanding from the girl’s side?

In many cases the dowry which is brought in by the new bride is kept aside by the inlaws and she doesn’t get a chance to use the comforts which were taken in her name from her parents. Rather it is used to give as dowry to the sister in law

If this is taken in the name of stree dhan then why is the girl deprived of all this?

Are they selling their son for all those measly items? It actually amounts to that. They trade their son with some material goods.

Although the boys side put a price tag on their son and who so ever can bid a higher rate gets to see their daughter married to this person

In such a situation the girl should be in a superior position of buyer and the provider but in reality she is the one who suffers the most.

But in Indian society it is not seen as selling of boy. I suppose the boy’s family demand this amount as a maintenance fee for the girl. After all they will be taking her in their house, providing basic amenities, and of course they and their son will be obliging the girl by allowing her to wear a mangalsutra and write Mrs. Before her name  . And their son will very grandly help her in producing a child.

Not only is that even after the marriage, parents of the girls expected to give gifts to boy’s family even at the drop of a hat.

Festivals like Sakranti/holi/rakhi/diwali/Teej/Karwa Chouth are incomplete without gifts for inlaws, big boxes of sweets, fruit baskets.

Even after the delivery the girl’s parents are supposed to send clothes/gifts for all the family members of the Boy.

The child which is born, belongs to the husband as well as the wife. Both of them contributed equally for the birth of the child then why is the girl’s family forced to gift to the groom’s family? The child will be carrying the name of the father but the expenses of his delivery are to be borne by the girl’s side and all this is in the name of tradition/ customs and culture

Worst situation is when educated, liberated, enlightened youth succumb to the so called customs and willingly adhere to these norms.


Boys pressurize their wives’ to get suitable gifts from her mother’s house so that his family is happy; in turn the girl pleads to her father to contribute towards her happiness. (Criteria of happy married life is keeping inlaws and husband happy with gifts from girls family).

Why doesn’t the young generation do something about it?

Is the modern youth (girls and boys both) has no back bone or self respect to stand up to this evil?

35 Comments leave one →
  1. January 11, 2010 5:37 pm

    We should all shout from the rooftops that DOWRY = ladka bik gaya….and so loud that any guy and his family would be ashamed to even think about dowry. Sick of this dowry ‘culture’.

  2. January 11, 2010 7:31 pm

    A thought provoking post, Anju. However, the girls parents can say they do not want to marry their daughter into such a greedy family. Why give into such pressure? As long as there are parents who treat the dulhawallas like God this tradition will continue. Unfortunately, Indians have made huge names for themselves, internationally but still hang onto to these obsolete and degrading traditions.

    • January 12, 2010 3:14 am

      how many parents have the guts to say No to such boys and their parents.
      opinion of society, social standing are major hindrances for such parents.
      funny part is Indians settled abroad, following their way of life still believe in this concept. There are cases and cases of boys who are working in other countries, coming down to India, getting married , taking dowry and then going back to the same life

  3. Anonymous permalink
    January 12, 2010 12:41 am

    Hypocritical society and double standard people. Indian being top in the list

    • January 12, 2010 3:15 am

      but what should we do?
      we all know India tops the list of hypocritical societies but something has to be done

  4. January 12, 2010 3:35 am

    Nice article….I totally agree with you. Anything which is demanded is wrong…btw wats ur personal take will you get ur kids (atleast in case of son) married of without any dowry?

    • January 12, 2010 3:40 am

      its a long road ahead as far as my son is concerned but I know I will not demand. . whatever the girl’s family give to their daughter it is their wish. when we pamper our daughter before marriage then why stop after marriage. these are my views.
      if i want to gift something to my daughter or my son in law it is my wish. but if it is demanded then I can’t say what would be my reaction.
      giving gifts out of free will, without burdening the family budget is ok. give as much as you want to your children but not when demanded.

      • January 12, 2010 5:21 am

        I agree ..and that’s exactly what I had written on your prev ‘young gen’ post as well 🙂

  5. January 12, 2010 9:03 am

    To HELL with such ppl..what is happening? Is this how our Indian society cursed and looks like this is gonna go on forever……

    • January 12, 2010 11:24 am

      Yeah! it seems so. it is going to go on forever. may be the number of cases will reduce and we may have new breed of youth who will not only raise their voice against such evils but also do something to counterattack them

  6. January 12, 2010 11:00 am

    I have seen when girls marry confidently – without any dowry and when they are very sure about it, they have happier married lives. And if there is abuse, these girls are bold enough to walk out and still continue to live a normal happy life. The stigma of seperated or divorced only frightened those who value the opinion of such thinkers. I have seen bold, happy girls happily married without dowry (and where parents have refused proposals from boys who were going to live in joint family). If it delayed the marriage they didn’t care- for them these were non-negotiable.

    • January 12, 2010 11:27 am

      Times are changing. young people are not so much bothered about what the society will say, but it is the parents who think a lot about what others will say? what will happen to their other children.
      For people living in big cities this may not be a big issue but in small towns, villages public opinion matters a lot.

  7. January 12, 2010 11:05 am

    Parents who take dowry are nothing but auctioneers looking for highest bidders, same like people sell cattle. The only difference is in the cattle market, the cattle ends up with the buyer, the onle who spent the money.. In the marriage market, the girl’s parents who spend all the money, end up with nothing. But then, they are also in such a hurry to ‘get rid’ of their precious daughter by paying someone to take her off their hands!! If only they gave her that money to set herself up in life rather than some other family so that they will be ‘rid’ of her!!!!
    As for me the question of dowry does not arise in the case of my kids. I have heard a lot of ‘aapko kya hai, aap to lene wale hai. aapke do bete hain” making me fume in anger. As if I am like their stupid selves just waiting for sons to grow up so that I can sell them like cattle!

    • January 12, 2010 11:15 am

      the sons are auctioned but they are not treated as auctioned items. Rather they are in a privileged position .inspite of giving dowry and meeting the demands of in laws the girls still do not enjoy their rightful status. They are still harassed and humiliated by the hands of members of their own sex– the mother in law.I just hope some parents gear up enough courage to say No to such people and wait for the one who wants a life partner and not a money provider.
      But the big question is How many such boys are there.
      Even the so called educated boys don’t think twice before taking fat envelopes during various marriage ceremonies.

    • January 12, 2010 6:12 pm

      Shail says, ‘ If only they gave her that money to set herself up in life rather than some other family so that they will be ‘rid’ of her!!!!
      Absolutely. As parents their biggest responsibility is to make them self reliant.

      • January 12, 2010 6:21 pm

        I go one step further. instead of having lavish marriage functions, deposit the same amount in daughter’s account so that she can use it in future. no use feeding hundreds of guests who will just criticize

  8. January 12, 2010 11:17 am

    I agree with you with the state of affairs prevailing.
    My take is a bit different.In my opinion the fault lies with the parents.Instead of teaching their daughter the art of cooking and science of keeping the husband happy,they should guide her into getting educated so as to let her be independent economically and professionally.You may come across a number of cases where the girls(i am proud of them) are not accepting this nonsense of Dahej and related issues.
    Answer is education and girl’s independent thinking.—It will work.

  9. January 14, 2010 11:18 am

    Anju, by ‘giving her the money’ I meant give it to her to set her up in life, for studies or business or something she wants to do, or just in a bank account for the time she wants to use it rather than on gold and lavish weddings or be given as dowry to her in-laws.

  10. January 15, 2010 8:45 pm

    Parents of daughter – Simply rise to the occasion and say WTF are you guys doing… this is not business and better sell your sons at some other shop as ours is not for sale even for this high price…..

  11. geetu permalink
    February 27, 2011 9:37 pm

    if the girl child is brought up as an independent thinking child ,she will not allow demands on her parents at all.
    It requires a lot of Guts to stand up .But if her values are placed right she will be able to face the world. Its not impossible I have done it.

  12. September 5, 2011 1:06 am

    There is another, often ignored inequality at play here:
    How many girls get equal share in the parental property … the same thing as their brothers?

    Yes, you know the right answer.
    And ‘streedhan’ is supposed to counter that situation… and yes, no one wants to remembers that anymore.

    The basic mistake with ‘streedhan’ or ‘dowry’ is to give its control to your hubby or his mother or sister.
    It is your dhan, keep it safely in your bank locker under your name… well most of it at least.
    Heck, better ask your hubby to add to it whenever he can. Why not let it grow with you?

    This is an edited version of:

  13. Devanand Mishra permalink
    May 2, 2012 1:53 pm

    Rampant Misuse of Article 498a in India:
    Recently one Man Mohan Das, a corrupt retired Orissa Police Service Officer filed a false case against Man Mohan’s son in law. A highly paid techie who served with IBM in India and abroad, hooked by Man Mohan who got his characterless daughter married. Soon after marriage Man Mohan, his gun wielding criminal son Manmath Das and his daughter went on demanding 25 lak rupees from the young man. He went on refusing to pay. Man Mohan, who is an extortionist racketeer and his son Manmath Das a gun wielding drug peddler, maintain some illegal business and gang of hooligans filed a suit against Man Mohan’s son in law under 498a. When police arrested his son in law, his parents and nine family members, he pressurized the son in law to sign a bond to pay 25 lak rupees. The young man refused. Now the case has gone to court and the young man and all 11 family members are in prison for no fault of theirs. High Courts have stated that out of cases booked under this ugly act 98% are fake and fabricated by vamps and their relatives. Hon’ble Supreme Court have remarked that IT IS LEGAL TERRORISM and that IT IS A ROGUE LAW. But the dangerous law continues to kill innocent people.
    ~~Criticism outside India is enormous.~~

  14. Arjun Singh permalink
    May 2, 2012 2:10 pm

    Indians, specially Hindus are a strange set of people. When they get their daughter married, they practically deprive their daughter of inheritance to family property, which they want to be transfered to son(s) in due course of time. Whatever they give their daughter at the time of marriage, they make a great exhibition grossly exaggerating the value of such gifts, especially before their daughter. So daughter feels her parents are great. She never suspects that they are quitely depriving her of inheritance of family property. Often crooks utilize their daughters who are VAMPS, combinedly they book the newly married unsuspecting young man in IPC 498A, get the entire family arrested and then loot them. Hon’ble Supreme Court calls the law LEGAL TERRORISM, I repeat LEGAL TERRORISM. Wait and see where this country is leading.

  15. DevAnand permalink
    April 14, 2013 11:21 am

    IPC 498a is a horrible law. It is proved that free India law makers are worse than Britishers. Theirs is NAZI mindset.

  16. DevAnand permalink
    April 14, 2013 1:51 pm

    When Manmohan Das’s daughter married, Manmohan sent two 18th century iron boxes containing cheap iron and aluminium utensils and a wooden double bed to Bhubaneswar. Manmohan was asked not to send anything to Bhubaneswar because his daughter and son in law left for Bombay(place of posting) soon after marriage. Manmohan implored those STREEDHAN be accepted. Seven yrs after marriage he booked false 498a. When all those cheap stuff was returned, he accuses that his daughter’s mother in law took away frying pan and three tin utensils. Those are STREEDHAN. Great free India great NAZI laws.

  17. DevAnand permalink
    April 14, 2013 3:32 pm

    Manmath Das, software professional is a cheap drunkard and a criminal with gun. He threatens people on the street and robs them on gun point. Incase of trouble he uses his father Manmohan Das’ name. Manmohan was a discredited Orissa police officer.

  18. DevAnand permalink
    April 19, 2013 11:14 am


    • DevAnand permalink
      April 19, 2013 11:18 am

      498a is NAZI law of sexist govt.

  19. DevAnand permalink
    April 19, 2013 11:26 am


  20. John Rupert permalink
    April 30, 2013 1:51 am

    Indian society is backward. Its laws and its police suits criminals, who often utilize them.

  21. Arjun Singh permalink
    May 2, 2013 12:50 am

    Parents demanding dowry is a thing of the past. These days women in connivance with criminals book false 498a cases against husbands, then imprison and plunder them. The Supreme Court has called it LEGAL TERRORISM. This ludicrous vote bank law must be curbed. Hon’ble Supreme Court can nullify this law and teach a lesson to corrupt politicians as has been done in Pakistan.

  22. Patnaik permalink
    May 2, 2013 12:59 am

    Parents demanding dowry is a thing of the past. These days women in connivance with criminals book false 498a cases against husbands, then imprison and plunder them. The Supreme Court has called it LEGAL TERRORISM. This ludicrous vote bank law must be curbed. Hon’ble Supreme Court can nullify this law and teach a lesson to corrupt politicians as has been done in Pakistan.

  23. Patnaik permalink
    May 23, 2013 6:30 pm

    This is a very interesting site.

  24. Rakeshbhai permalink
    December 29, 2015 3:59 pm

    Socially, everyone needs to rebel against the dowry system.

    Legally, there are many things that can be done. a) All the “gifts” – whether streedhan or dowry – should be listed with the registrar of marriage (nowadays it is compulsory to get the marriage registered), b) I don’t know if such a provision exists, but the Income tax returns should include provisions for marriage gifts for both the sides. If possible, provide some tax incentives for the same.

    finally, c) Make GIVING dowry a bigger crime in CrPC. At present the law is skewed in the sense that those giving dowry seem to escape without any punishment, whereas those accepting dowry get punished.

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