Wednesday, May 12, 2010

RTI exposes questionable dowry eradication commitment of WCD Ministry

Dowry &  Extravagant marraiges affects fathers of the brides , the most

We hear many women's organizations clamoring to get media attention for eradicating dowry. However they ignore the very basic fact that  ultimately the daughter is  just the receiver of the dowry and the actual dowry giver is ultimately a man  who may be the father/brother  of the bride. These males in the family work hard and spend their life’s savings to ensure that the women of their family can have a wedding of their dreams. Many fathers spend their entire PF savings and retirement benefits at the weddings of their daughters.  Societal pressure accompanied with an zeal to outdo others drive these families to spend their way into bankruptcy in weddings. Many fathers are left with  little or nothing left for their old age.
Whereas everybody sympathizes with the bride as a victim of dowry , no one sympathizes with the father or brother who loses his life’s savings and has little in his old age for himself and his family after spending on a extravagant marriage. So the first question we need to ask is that is the daughter the real victim of dowry or is it another man?

What has the government done so far to eradicate extravagant marraiges to reduce the burden on the bride's fathers ?

The Dowry Eradication Scam

The Women and Child Ministry and the National Commission of Women claim that they have been "hard" at work to eradicate dowry by promoting laws like 498a and DV act etc . However the most easiest way to achieve this is to is to Ban or stop promoting extravagant marriages and punish and ostracize dowry givers . However doing this will anger the marriage industry which the government does not want . The Indian marriage industry today is more than Rs 600,000 crores ( that’s about $ 150 Billion ) and no politician wants to touch the donations they get from this industry.

See Article on the size and dimensions of the Indian marraige Industry . 

Lets "Decreases" the punishment for Dowry givers seems to the recommendation of the WCD Ministry

The WCD ministry naturally to protect such a big industry on one side has proposed an outrageous recommendation that they will propose to reduce the punishment for Dowry Givers . It is to be noted that even though there is punishment recommended in the Indian Penal Code for givers , not one woman or family has been convicted for giving dowry as of now. However the WCD ministry wants to believe different and knows that if Dowry is eradicated so will the Indian marriage industry and is working head over heels to safeguard it . 

Advertising Budget shows the true reality of WCD ministry's commitment

Eradicating dowry speeches are normally given very passionately  amongst foreign delegates in 5 star hotels , all the while chomping on exquisite cuisines. at the tax payers money . However you will find the same ministers and government appointees drinking imported alcohol and dancing at extravagant weddings the very next day forgetting that if the marriage fails whatever has been spent will be called dowry. They also forget that that India has a law against giving dowry which needs to imposed .

The Women and Child development Ministry website on media activities shows that during the fiscal year of 2008-2009 they spent about Rs 52 Crores on advertising .

Out of the 15 advertisements issued in the print media 4 are exclusively for the Birth and Death anniversaries of  the members of the Ruling Gandhi Family . I cannot help wonder how that helps women and children of India and why is  the WCD Ministry even celebrating or mourning the deaths of the members of the Gandhi Family ?

From the 52 crores they have spent  so far , not a single rupee for any sort of advertisements  for eradicating dowry , eradicating extravagant marriages , or creating an anti dowry hotline where exchange of dowry can be reported and givers and takers can be punished right there.  An RTI was filed with the WCD ministry (see RTI response below) confirms this hypocrisy .The Ministry replies that they have spent NIL amount of money  for advertising campaigns aimed at eradicating dowry and/or extravagant marraiges.

The questions remains that why has the government on one side tried to protect the marriage industry and allowed it to balloon to such mammoth proportions by allowing extravagant marriages on one side and draconised and the existing laws to show a facade of commitment to eradicating dowry?  The truth of the matter is that in order to safeguard the marriage industry and the industrialists  benefiting from the marriage industry the WCD ministry or the government has never stopped extravagant marriages , instead it allows the money to be spent first and then rants that dowry has been exchanged and penalizes the husband and his family. This double face by the WCD clearly shows dubious intentions.

How is Pakistan Dealing with the problem 

Pakistan and India having originated from the same subcontinent 50 years ago also deals with the same problem , however the Pakistanis have found a very effective solution to curtail extravagant marraiges by implementing the one dish law.The one dish law legally controls extravagance weddings , cointrols dowry giving and provides relief to the family of the brides from spending their life's savings on marraiges .

The  One dish law  legally limits the numbers of dishes in any wedding to only one . Pakistan in order to save the tax payers money and provide relief to the poor masses, has  made it mandatory that not more than one dish will be offered during any function, including wedding ceremonies. The Indian government should stop ranting about dowry and just implement the one dish law in India too to eradicate dowry once and for all . Lets hope what Pakistan has thought today India will think tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment