The curse of dowry

Maham Anees

It was shocking to read the news that a woman’s head was shaved in Kasur, when the dowry she brought failed to meet her in-laws’ expectations. The news itself was a horrendous reminder of how awful a curse dowry is. I have seen most people gawking at a bride’s jahaiz at weddings, at how ‘fine’ furniture is or scrunching their noses at how ‘light’ her gold jewellery weighs. The fact that most of us blab about the unfairness of this Hinduisitc tradition but demand hefty dowry ourselves, not only points towards our hypocritical inclinations but also reflects our society’s materialistic attitude.
This situation widens the void between the two classes as the poor fall into an inferiority complex when they see the lavish dowry the affluent class sends along with their brides. Furthermore, parents, who cannot afford to meet the dowry demands, have to watch their young daughters’ hairline grow gray right before their eyes.
I would like to urge people to put themselves in the shoes of those miserable parents who cannot get their daughters married solely because of this curse. It is about time we pay heed and try to eradicate this form of imperialism from our society since the same money spent on a girl’s education would do her far more good.
—Karachi

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