Manjula’s fate was met with an abrupt end when she hung herself from the ceiling fan of her hostel. Her father regrets spending money on her IIT education instead of saving it for dowry.
Manjula was amongst the 54 women in Delhi who died in the last 6 months after allegedly being bullied for dowry, a backward custom of brides’ families being demanded and forced to give cash, cars and property as gifts to the groom. India may have barred the tradition back in 1961, but the horrifying practice makes its presence felt even today!
According to the Delhi police statistics, cases of dowry allegations have almost doubled in the last five years, which surprisingly is in contrast to other crimes like those of murder, robbery, dacoity or rape.
The interesting part is the gamut of demand that women as educated as Manjula have to face only because of the impoverished background they belong to. The demands range from - a gas cylinder worth around Rs 1,500 to motorbikes (mostly Royal Enfield) to an Audi Q5 SUV or say Rs 2.5 crores in cash. Some other regular demands include gold jewellery, refrigerators, sofa sets, LED television sets, flats and land assets. While the bizarre ones include – autorickshaws and even buffaloes!
Let us look at the detailed statistics about the dowry allegations (FIRs between January to June, 2017) reported in Delhi, as reported by the Hindustan Times:
A large number of these complainants said the harassment for dowry began as early as the honeymoon. One woman said she was assaulted in a taxi in Thailand. In over 50 cases, women claimed they were forced into unnatural sex and five complainants said they accepted torture because their husbands allegedly shot sex videos.
Looks like education still hasn’t been able to curb this malice and a woman’s economic status too does not make her any less vulnerable to pressure, which is what makes this practice widely prevalent even after five decades of being prohibited.
Information source: hindustantimes
Title image: vina