Shivani

“People usually ask the girls’ families to not cave in and give dowry, but I think the boys’ parents should be convinced of the ills of this practice. This is important for the tradition of wedding dowry to end because, if pressurised, the chances of the girls’ families complying are greater.”

Shivani, MNC

What are your views on the idea of ‘the big fat Indian wedding’? Do you think it is necessary? Why/why not?

It is not necessary. When two people have decided to spend their lives together, it is not required to invite scores of people and have big parties.

Do you think the practice of dowry has increased as compared to your parent’s time? Or has it reduced?

I think, nowadays, it is a bigger issue.

Why is dowry so enticing that even well educated, well-meaning young people are not able to say no to it?

I think they are not confident about earning that much of an amount by themselves, so they ask others for it.

Do you think that the honour of your family and/or your position in the family would be compromised by not accepting or giving dowry? Why/ why not?

Yes, obviously. If my father pays a certain amount as dowry during my marriage, we can never say for sure that the boy’s side would be satisfied with it and would not demand more. If I bring a dowry which is lesser than their expectation, I might not get as much respect as compared to the other members of my husband’s family.

What are your views on the practice of dowry?

The custom of giving/receiving dowry is wrong; we should stop practicing it.

If you are against the practice of dowry, please respond to the following questions:

Would you be willing to let go of what you would be entitled to traditionally?

Yes. When my father has spent so much money on my education, why should he spend on dowry as well? If a guy demands dowry, I will ask him upfront whether he is capable of earning and getting things on his own or not.

Do you think that your parents would agree with your decision in this regard? If not, what are the steps you would take to convince them?

I know that they will understand my point of view and admire my decision.

What things would help to curb and eradicate the practice of dowry?

People usually ask the girls’ families to not cave in and give dowry, but I think the boys’ parents should be convinced of the ills of this practice. This is important for the tradition of wedding dowry to end because, if pressurised, the chances of the girls’ families complying are greater.

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