,Malaysia, Nicaragua,adultery

Sunday, October 30, 2005

 

India - Dowry System and Bride Burning

The monster in the basement

It has been written about, talked about and condemned but brides are mentally and physically abused, sometimes killed by greedy in-laws in today's India. This barbaric practice continues despite the fact that in many respects India today is a far cry from the India that V.S. Naipaul and others wrote about. "Indian Middle Class Grows, But Ugly Tradition Persists", John Lancaster's report in today's Washington Post is about one unfortunate young woman who died at the hands of her husband and father-in-law. "NEW DELHI--Charanpreet Kaur, 19, had been married less than nine months when her husband and his family decided it was time for her to go. Trapping her in the bathroom, her husband clamped his hand over her mouth while his father doused her with kerosene, according to a police document. The father then lit a match, setting his daughter-in-law on fire. She died five days later. "


In some instances, the crimes do receive publicity and those charged end up being punished. But there seems to be a general lack of concern about the shameful system under which a bride's parents are required make payments, in cash and kind, to the groom. It is illegal to demand dowry but the custom continues unabated among all classes--rich and poor. Many highly educated young men tacitly approve of it. One gets the feeling that if it were not for some women's organizations actively involved in exposing and fighting the abuses related to dowry system the Indians would prefer to ignore it.
*****


Comments:
I saw a woman on television not too long ago that suffered this horrific fate. She was burned when the m.i.l. to be or hubby to be (can't recall) threw acid on her b/c her family wouldn't pay up and up and up...

She was positively beautiful before the incident, but even more so with all her bravery and strong spirit after.
 
Here's the real picture about wide-spread misuse of dowry laws by today's Indian daughters-in-law:

Misuse of Dowry Laws
 
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