Anti Dowry laws being misused???

Hindustan Times has an ht EXCLUSIVE on dowry laws. Front page news. Please read

http://epaper.hindustantimes.com/PUBLICATIONS/HT/HD/2011/02/28/index.shtml

Is this news?

Lets pretend Dowry is not a crime! Tantarra! Lets wallow in to our parampara of taking money from the ‘girls’ side.

Thanks to a huge and horrifying spurt in the deaths of young women in 1983 due to harassment for dowry the Indian Penal Code inserted 498 A in the anti dowry section – which concerns itself with physical and mental cruelty against wives by husbands and their relatives. Because of this law inserted in 1983, a great number of in-laws have been jailed after young wives died under suspicious circumstances, such as catching fire or killing themselves.

Now, the ‘scoop’ that HT has got hold of is that there are too many complaints against this law, because so many old in-laws are languishing in jails after the daughters in law so inconveniently died instead of being tough and accepting the centuries old oppression of brides by the family.

Possibly some of the in-laws are innocent BUT since our parampara supports in-laws, supports dowry, supports the oppression of wives by the family she marries into the number of innocent people booked under this law is suspect. Mostly they have done what they are suspected to have done – killed a bride or driven her to suicide.  Now,  a huge number of people have complained to the law minister M Veerappan Moily, who has seen fit to take a new look at that law. A huge number of complaints is a good reason to question a law that was put into place to ensure the safety of young married women, to ensure that families cherished brides for fear that they would be jailed should she die soon after marriage. Of course a large number of people will complain. Most of India will complain. A law that ensures women’s safety, that does not permit mothers in law to indulge in mental cruelty – unthinkable. NOt only will more than half the population complain (men, plus remember that the skewed sex ratio thanks to female infanticide means there are already more men than women) but also the women who know which side their bread is buttered and join ranks with men in the name of sanskriti.

The reason why this law will be given a long hard look? Because it is being misused by so many women. Ahh! Interesting. They apparently kill themselves so that their mothers in law can go to jail. So nasty of them. Is this our tradition?

Brides are meant to be self-sacrificing, the mother in law comes first. So what if a young woman dies, she can always be replaced. But an old mother in law, poor thing, why should she languish in jail, when she is only doing what every one else does. Being nasty to her daughter in law, asking for dowry. And whats wrong with dowry anyway? Hasn’t she invested so much time, money and effort in her son? How dare a woman  marry him and not pay for the entire families clothes, electronic items, cars, furniture – after all, this is the tradition. Plus, mother in law has to pay for her own daughter’s marriage ( meaning dowry) – where will the money come from if the son’s bride does not do what is expected? How will we keep our parampara going? After all, we have such a wonderful culture, we must uphold it and protect it from ‘western’ influences such as women’s rights, safety for women, equality for women.

Mothers in law, unfortunately, often turn into males, they further the male viewpoint and use the power of their age to ally with the male, anti woman viewpoint, forgetting whose side they are actually on.

The Delhi High Court says “being a mother- in-law is not a crime in itself.” Hilarious!!

 

Mother in law as victim

The mother in law as victim. The High Court stands up for the victimised mother in law saying that women(read harassed brides) misuse this law.

High Court – why not take it on a case by case basis rather than change a law that was put into place for an excellent and rather horrible reason. Why not speed up your handling of cases so that people who are innocent don’t languish in jails?

Why not see to it that lawyers don’t misuse their knowledge of the law to guide their clients to use the law to get the other party into trouble. That’s basically what Indian lawyers are busy doing – looking for nasty ways to screw people so that they need to defend themselves instead of sorting out the actual issue. Pulling the wool over people’s eyes. If this law is changed because of ‘misuse’ it won’t be the twenty something brides who misused it and for whose protection this law was passed. The ‘misuse’ is by that honourable band of people we refer to as lawyers.

We know what they suggest in divorce cases and the kind of filth that gets bandied about. But more about that in another blog post.

Advertisements

About Kalpanaa

Trying to change the world one blog post at a time. I write. It's the best thing I can do. I am the Hanged Man, the Fool, the sometime Magician. Whether I travel in my imagination or in real life I always enjoy myself. I read books, I review. I eat, I review. I watch plays, I review. I have an opinion on everything. At other times I heal people through yoga and/or foot reflexology.

Posted on February 28, 2011, in abuse, Dowry, oppressive customs and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. oh yes ..these lawyers are to be blamed …
    during my divorce , this guy said , you book a compliant , give me 10k , I will send a cop and he will drag him from Mumbai to blore and he will rot in jail .Then we will file a case and you will easily get 20 lakhs ..

    I was stunned and so were my parents … later we filed by mutual consent and again had to go through 1 year wait to get through the process ..

    and indeed even if it takes time to get out of it ..its all worth it in the end..the peace of mind after the initial turmoil is really worth all the trouble ..

    i am one of those ppl who dread marrying again for the fear of the divorce process ..

  2. I always say this – yes, the law is abused, but an idea is not responsible for its abuse. The abusers are. In this case, the women abuse the law. But you see, all other laws are abused by men.. and hey, i dont see a hue and cry against that one..

    Secondly, a lot of people point out that dowry is no longer prevelant. To them i say this:
    1. For the educated elite, dowry is not gone. It now gets delivered in monthly instalments (working girl’s salary)
    2. For the LMC and others, you have obviously not paid a visit to the burns ward of a govt hospital in a long time. I suggest you do. and THEN we will talk.

  3. Great post. I’m going to be reading this blog now.

  4. Here from Desi Girl’s blog.

    I agree that the law is needed.

    “Possibly some of the in-laws are innocent BUT since our parampara supports in-laws, supports dowry, supports the oppression of wives by the family she marries into the number of innocent people booked under this law is suspect.”

    “Of course a large number of people will complain. Most of India will complain. A law that ensures women’s safety… Not only will more than half the population complain (men, plus remember that the skewed sex ratio thanks to female infanticide means there are already more men than women) but also the women who know which side their bread is buttered… After all, we have such a wonderful culture, we must uphold it and protect it from ‘western’ influences such as women’s rights, safety for women, equality for women.”

    These lines sum up all the noise against DVA. Most of India can’t understand how a woman cannot be expected to be a slave to her spouse’s family, that is what she has always been. Along with the law I wish there was also massive media campaign to create awareness about women – including daughters in law, being ‘equal’ humans and citizens.

  5. Any legislation to prevent crime that goes against principles of natural justice is bound to be misused. Making it bailable towards women (sisters, mil, cousins of the groom), senior citizens and kids below 14 may provide some relief as they constitute close to 1 lac prisoners booked.

    • Mysticspirit

      First of all Jetlag, what do you mean by principles of natural justice?
      Secondly, there’s no need to bail out any woman who oppresses another woman for dowry. These sisters, mils and cousins of the groom can all rot in jail.

  6. Taking girls side. Of course, if the mother-in-law is innocent, then I’m on her side too. The reason why such a strict law was passed is because mostly families (mothers in law included) harm the girls in the name of dowry.
    I myself was lucky enough to have a gem of a mother-in-law, but when the mil pours kerosene on the girl, sets her alight and makes it look like a cooking accident, as used to happen in the 80s, then I have no sympathy.
    The law IS being misused, but not by the people it is meant to protect. It is being misused by lawyers – as always.

  7. You know I read your article very carefully. Took me 2-3 times to get exactly what you were saying.

    I was thinking- is she taking girl’s side or mother in law’s side?

    But what really makes sense is you last paragraph- “why not take it on a case by case basis rather than change a law that was put into place for an excellent and rather horrible reason. Why not speed up your handling of cases so that people who are innocent don’t languish in jails”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: