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    Writer Lone Shahid

    Currently, our society is suffering from many social evils.'Dowry' is one of them.Dowry, the money, goods, or estate that a woman brings to her husband or his family in marriage. Most common in cultures that are strongly  and that expect women to reside with or near their husband’s family (patrilocality), dowries have a long history in Europe, South Asia, Africa, and other parts of the world.  One of the basic functions of a dowry has been to serve as a form of protection for the wife against the very real possibility of ill treatment by her husband and his family. A dowry used in this way is actually a conditional gift that is supposed to be restored to the wife or her family if the husband divorces, abuses, or commits other grave offenses against her. Land and precious metals have often been used in this form of dowry and are frequently inalienable by the husband, though he might otherwise use and profit from them during the marriage. It is a custom which is prevalent in all sections of society. In the past it was voluntary offer on the part of the parents but now a days it has become a compulsion and a necessary evil. Now it has become difficult to find a good boy for a girl. Without paying a high price for the same. Wealthy peoples try to demand a larger amount of dowry both in cash and kind and hence fix the rate of dowry according to the status of their boys. Thus, whether a parent can pay or not, it has become compulsory at the time of marriage. It has ruined the lives of many brilliant girls because their parents could not afford to give  sufficient Dowry to the family where they intended to marry. We are seeing there are thousands of girls who are enough matured are unmarried because of this evil. It is one of the biggest evil present in the society. Dowry is forbidden(Haram) in Islam. 

     There are various causes of dowry system in our society but the main reasons are: It is traditional Greedy grooms families demand it. A groom's family asks brides parents what things you will give before or on marriage? Because our son is doing a good job, they have property etc. Every parent wants their girl to go to a rich family. They find a guy who has a good job, business, income etc. To fill this gap, the brides family does not hesitate from giving them. To build reputation in society, both the bride and groom's family think if they will give dowry on marriage, it will increase their reputation and people will talk good about them. Illiteracy is another cause, ignorance of anti dowry laws etc. 
          Dowry has serious effects sometimes womens are killed or murdered by her husbands or in in-laws when her family can't raise the requested dowry gift or sometimes womens commit suicide after facing Harrasments and abuses for family to meet the dowry price, sometimes acids or fire set on her, to avoid larger dowries, families often marry their daughters off as child. Dowries keep girls from going to schools. It also maintains gender inequality. Dowries lead to infanticide because womens are viewed as a Financial burden on a family. Many parents abort girls or allow them to die after birth. Dowries keep women from economic independence,late marriages,unmarried etc. It traps poor people in debt because poor people can't afford, they take loan with higher interest etc. 

    There are various important steps where we can eradicate dowry. Educate our daughters, encourage them to have own career, we should teach them how to live independent and responsible, we have to treat them as their own daughters equally without discrimination, we should avoid practice of giving and taking dowry, Religious scholars, imams should tell about the consequences of dowry etc. Awareness campaigns should be made, there should be programs on Tvs, radios etc, there should be strict laws against dowry. Thousands of girls who have crosses marriageble age are suffering of this menace. 
    Dowry is complete injustice with women and does not give women equal status in society. Because of dowry men will always be superior to women. This is creating a mess and negative environment in society. We should avoid these evils. We should  take into consideration poor people's. Many boys and girls are taking pledges that they will not accept dowry at the time of marriages. We should do expensive marriages. There is no doubt that until and unless the educated youth of the country come forward to abolish this evil from our society nothing tangible can be done to eliminate this it once forever. Dowry is a social stigma that can be removed with all our contributions and, we should work together to eliminate this evil in the society. Lets make the Nikkah simple. 
    The writer is pursuing M. Com in kashmir university and writes on different issues. He can be reached at
             LONE SHAHID

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