Even though dowry had been made illegal in India since 1961, it is still not just being practised in remote villages but also in major cities of the country. We often hear news of marriages where both parties claim to have exchanged dowry in the name of “gifts” and it is nothing but putting a price on the bride.
Parineeti Chopra, who is very much vocal about women’s rights, has recently raised an accurate point about dowry and what it means.
“Everyone knows that dowry is illegal and immoral but they practice it. What makes me angry is that people have renamed it ‘gift’ so that it sounds good. Dowry simply means that you are putting a price on the girl and buying her”, she said.
According to sources, during the promotions for her next film Jabariya Jodi, Parineeti expressed her concerns for the age-old practice.
“We call ourselves modern but then what are we doing? To look superior, we are asking the girls’ families for money and luxurious things. It is the unfortunate scenario of our country”, she said.
Her film Jabariya Jodi is based on the practice of pakadwa vivah which means “forced marriage”. It is still prevalent in Bihar. According to this practice, when the groom asks for a hefty dowry, they are abducted and forced to marry at gunpoint.
“Although pakadwa vivah is an anti-dowry practice, it is wrong. You cannot just kidnap someone and force them to get married. However, if there is no demand for dowry, there will be no pakdwa vivah. I request people to stop putting a price on a girl’s life”, she said.
Parineeti is absolutely right in her opinions. Practices like dowry and pakadwa vivah are rigid and downright regressive. Those who are still practising these should face consequences. Women are not a property that can be sold.