Almost everyone is talking about new T.V. serial ‘Satyamev Jayate’, Aamir Khan and dowry system. Though I have not seen a single episode of this serial but I think I am somehow connected with the discussions because my parents are worried about my marriage and are searching a ‘perfect match’. Few weeks ago; I and my friend, Ravi, were talking about the marriage and why shouldn’t we? Everyone is getting married; many of my and his college friends got married and even produced offspring! My friend seemed quite worried as he was ‘turning 30’ within weeks and was still unmarried. We were discussing, teasing and chuckling over all the aspects of marriage, yes all the aspects, if you get me right. While discussing we reached to a point where ‘dowry’ came to picture.
“On my marriage, I will never ask for dowry or even a single paisa.” I only need a good girl, who can understand me. I said to my friend.
“Yes, then you will never get married. Why don’t you need money, you are an engineer so you have price tag. If you will not ask for dowry, get your facts right that you will probably not get married.” He nonstop told me a story that one of his engineer friend said to his future parents-in-law that he don’t want a single paise as dowry and his future parents-in-law got suspicious if boy really work as an engineer or not or if something is wrong with the boy? And finally his parents-in-law-to-be broke the marriage.
Further trying to be serious my friend told me that there is no need to demand, there are ways devised since our forefathers to extract money from the girl’s parents. You just need to be up to date and move with the world!
I couldn’t understand the meaning of ‘up to date’ and asked him to let me know how to be up to date and move with the world?
He replied, okay, now suppose you want money and you are not able to ask it directly from the girl’s parents. You don’t even need to say it, you just mention your bank account number few times and give your bank account number, all will be set and her parents will understand! And yes, while giving bank account number don’t forget to say. “Main to Sadhu aadmi hu, paise ko hath nai lagata.” (I am a saint and I don’t touch money!)
Next, before marriage just tells your parents-in-law that if you want that your daughter don’t travel on feet, you know that how hard it is to walk these days in sun, if you want that your daughter don’t travel in crowdy buses, please give car to her. And yes, Maruti is not a good brand these days and has lost its share value, I love General Motors. Don’t forget to mention – I don’t need car and I can do it without it, or I will only be driver for your daughter.
Put these words into the ears of your parents-in-law that if you want that your daughter drinks cold water, eat ice creams, eat fresh vegetables and stays healthy just give a refrigerator. See I don’t need it, I can drink cold water at office or I have a habit to stay hot but if you want that your daughter stays cool give 200 litre L.G. refrigerator. Kelvinator koun leta hai aajkal? (Who buys Kelvinator refrigerators these days?)
Further, tell your parents-in-law that if you want that your daughter sleeps in cold condition, you know that these days temperature is touching sky high and there is no sign of clouds. You know very well that air cooler doesn’t work well in humid condition so A.C. is must these days. Window A.C.s make so much noise that your daughter’s well deserved sleep after day’s hard work will be disturbed, so spilt A.C. is the good option. I work in shifts and my office is fully A.C. so I don’t need A.C., (I will sneak only at nights into the room!) it is just for your daughter’s comfort. See, how much I already care for your lovely daughter?
My friend didn’t stop here and continued. Now, suppose you need laptop or microwave oven. Say simply, laptop is needed for your daughter so that she can stay up to date with Facebook status or up to date with the latest movies. Microwave oven is required for your daughter so that she don’t burn her soft hands on gas; also you know better how difficult it is to cook on gas – so hot. See how simple all this is! Name anything you need, you can apply almost same logic for everything but don’t forget to say, “Main to Sadhu aadmi hu, paise ko hath nai lagata!”
My friend ended his advices with final verdict – you have to be innovative man, a real engineer, only then you can marry. After all this gyan you are well educated and eligible to get married, go get married!
All this dowry-parody made me to think what’s wrong with the society. No matter what, we were making fun of dowry system and its practice; all this is true and happening almost in the same manner. After the discussion with my friend, I looked into the data about women’s condition and found disturbing facts. According to National Family Health Survey-III, 40% women in India face domestic violence and shockingly 51% men felt it was justified. According to Population reference bureau (Washington): The World’s Women and Girl data sheet 2011, Women presence in parliament (2010) – India 11%, Afghanistan 27%, Pakistan 22%, Bangladesh 19%. (And we say these countries are terrorists!) Women married by year 18th – India 47%, Sub Saharan Africa 38% and Pakistan 24%. (And we claim; we are better off than Sub Saharan Africa and shinning nation.)
The husband and wife should work as a team with both partners having an equal say in decision-making. The woman must not be condemned to play the role of a ‘maid’ to the man – whether it is father, brother, husband, father-in-law, brother-in-law or son. Society needs to get rid of lots of shortcomings those have only undermined the position of woman. Just as the practice of sati (well almost) has abolished, the world would be a far better place if people spent their time on constructive activities rather than collecting dowry by selling off their sons or marrying girls off during their childhood and leaving them to their “fate” or satisfying their lust by kidnapping, raping, murdering and dumping newlywed girls on the name of God. Also, in order to iron out the unevenness in society, the women should educate themselves and they should learn to assert their rights and shun the injustices heaped on them. T.V. serials such as ‘Satyamev Jayate’ are good but we have to see how much last-longing-impacts such programs will make on society.
The real change will be when man’s psyche undergoes a transformation and both men and women meet mid-way rather than the girl always making all the adjustments. Dr. B. R. Ambedkar said, “I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved.” And that is the message I always want to give everyone. All I can do is to request my age-group please don’t seek convenience stores, gas stations, shops or hotels/motels from your parents-in-law, you can be happy without all these, and stop being a DOWRY slave. D- Donkeys, O- Of the first order, W- Who can’t stand on their own feet, R- Rely on their wives riches, Y- so shameless?
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