Shaadi.com, the matrimonial portal, recently conducted a survey to understand what today’s Indian youth considered the ‘ideal punishment’ for demanding dowry.
Around 53 per cent of those surveyed felt that the people who demand dowry should be forced to pay twice the demanded amount to the bride’s family instead. While most women agreed to that, 56 per cent of men firmly believed that men who demand dowry should be fired from their job and 44 per cent of men believed that dowry-seekers should be forced to pay five times their current income tax to the government.
While the Dowry Act clearly directs instant remand for husbands who harass their wives for dowry, 52 per cent of the women surveyed believed that ‘women misuse the dowry law’. Dowry is taken because dowry is given, and dowry is given because dowry is taken.
When the views of those who truly deserve to be punished were sought, 62 per cent of women agreed that a girl’s family should be punished for encouraging the practice of dowry, while 38 per cent men believed that the boy’s parents deserved a harsher punishment.
Fifty-two per cent of men felt that the groom’s parents were more responsible for dowry, while 48 per cent of Indian women held the ‘bride’s parents more responsible for encouraging the dowry system in marriages.’
According to a 2007 study by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), there is a dowry-related death every four hours in India.