Dowry – Social Dilemma

If we go back in time for say two decades, most marriages in India used to happen in the consent of parents and in most of the cases the girl would not get to see the boy until the day of wedding. The girl would be in her teens. Back then there were certain things a family would look for in others in terms of wealth, social status and the history of family. If all went well, the boy’s side would quote certain value for the dowry and the girls side would agree onto a certain final amount.

Fast forward time and come back to the present time. Today parents take care of their child equally well, whether it be a boy or a girl. Everyone gets educated and tries to get a job. Majority of Indians have gave up farming and everyone earns their bread by work or business. The average age of marriage has gone up by 5 years. We have come up to international platform. Now when a match making process is discussed, family looks for the background, social stature and the boy/girl education, job etc.

Things certainly seems to have improved but there are few things they have decided to stick around. Such as horoscope and dowry are certain things that come into picture in most of the communities when a marriage/match making is discussed. Certainly both of them seem irrelevant and unnecessary in this generation and the way we have shaped our life.

The people who dictate about the greatness of dowry need to understand that it does not apply to everyone and most cases today do not need dowry.

He who has gives it away, makes it difficult for he who doesn’t have and eventually the community has a hard time.

The average harmony in that community is never high, since it involves money, in turn revolves around greed, jealousy and all other dark qualities which make humans suffer.

Not every parent is in support of dowry. Over the years there have been many families and communities which have experienced deep complex problems related to money, dowry and after marriage issues related to this. Hence they have learnt the lesson a hard way. Such families and parents have decided not to support dowry in terms of taking it or giving it away. However when they come into the shoes of a parents whose daughter has been well educated and needs to be married now, they are confused. They get confused by the constant provocation and suggestions from their near and dear ones, neighbors and community heads. They wonder whether if they oppose the long held practice of dowry, will they be able get their daughter married in the community. They are worried about the classic Indian Clichy – what will the world say? (Duniya/Samajvale kya kahegi)

But if everyone thinks in this fashion, when will we see a change. And if parents don’t take a stand for their daughters, if families don’t take a stand for their child and if the girls don’t take a stand for their own life, we would still be in the same state back then two decades ago. All the fight and protest regarding the equality of females, equal opportunity and international platform everything becomes futile, since the problem rests at the core of the society. And those who have within them, those families who have made their daughters stand high in the world with education, hard work, sports they must make sure their daughters shines equally bright in marriage and in every walk of life.

It’s in the fundamental thinking as to who makes the move. Who stops thinking about the community and starts bringing a change. It is about making a mark and setting an example. There are communities where girls don’t get to study much but if a parent has made efforts to let their girl get graduate and secure a nice job, then they must certainly oppose the dowry. It should not be followed like a herd mentality. If those parents don’t oppose dowry and they give out huge sum of money since they now earn well, then they are making the biggest mistake.

Since many communities think that daughter is a ‘paraya dhan’ (someone else’s wealth) and that she must be married some day, they never let girls get good opportunities. They store all their lifes hard earned money just to give it away to some stupid family who wouldn’t even promise to take care of their girl. Whatever was being done, might be done blindly but he who has crossed the mark already and given a girl equal opportunity must not indulge in dowry as that gives a negative signal to the community.

They wonder that if getting the child is getting very expensive every year and the girl is supposed to be married with huge dowry in the future, they would instead stop her education and start accumulating all the wealth for the marriage. We will be thrown back decades. We will not be making any progress, instead we will be traveling back in time.

We need to see more examples. We need parents, families and communities thinking larger than self. We need to see girls get good educations and jobs. We need that such families oppose dowry. We can’t give up. We are here to stay for long and then why not be happy with people around us and share love and care.

Marriage is a great concept. The belief of going to someone’s life and staying together for the rest of life in good and bad times. It is a test of human emotions and qualities. Why do we need to infiltrate such wonderful aspect with stuff like dowry.

Please share your thoughts on dowry in the comment sections below.

Social Dilemma – Hijras (India)

There is a lot of confusion with the subject and I am unable to find a clear understanding on the terminologies used in various languages. Also there is no clear understanding as to what determines them to be placed into such category and how is it determined. It might be my own limited knowledge on the subject or the taboo in the society I live, that I couldn’t get a clear understanding about it. I have however tried to get some knowledge online, which seems to be even more confusing given the variety of physical deviations that can exist apart from ‘male’ and ‘female’ physiology.

However, I am not going to dwell on the physical aspect of it, since I am in no position to state any view without complete or adequate knowledge. I will prefer to tell about the interactions of Hijras in Indian Society and general life and how & when they are seen in day to day life.

The first and the foremost question however that strikes in my mind is where do they go during their childhood and teenage. How they appear suddenly into society when they are young adults. You would often see them in the following occasions when there is a new born in some family. They would visit the house, do lots of songs and dancing, bless the child, take some money and leave the place. They would also visit if someone buys a new house. They would mark the visit by placing their (amazing) names on the walls of the entrance and they would take some money in return giving blessings. During some weddings in few parts of the country, they are specially invited for certain rituals, dancing, songs and blessings.

Majorly however, they are observed mostly in Indian Railways. It is life-line of many Hijras. They would go from person to person in every coach and give blessings. In return they expect some money. Some are generous enough to give them money, while others fear their curses and hence give money. Many of the hijras are very harsh to people and they try to exploit the travellers asking for undue money, even when they are not ready to give. During festival seasons, they try to collect huge money, by harassing the ongoers and passengers. Even in every locality, they go from home to home to collect Diwali, Holi chanda and make their living.

Some of the people who go through bad experiences with Hijras, they wish if the law or police could take some action. But I believe it is a unspoken understanding between the society and Hijras, that you take away the privileges from our life and rights to live alongside the society and in return we get to be demanding and harsh in certain situations. Also since they are deprived of all the education and options for employment, it is silent agreement that people would be providing money for survival.

Somehow it seems to be really unfair on the part of treating some human, so cruelly for life time. There have been some lucky Hijras lately, who have been treated fairly, but a very large part of the Hijra community is treated very unfair. I believe it is the question on the moral fiber, social acceptance and emotional quotient of every human (male/female), that they need to think on the reason for unfair treatment to Hijras. Having said that this post has got nothing to do with the LGBT community. It is purely based on the observations and terminology used in India for the people (Hijras) whom we see in day to day life on the occasions or scenarios mentioned above.

One recent experience that I had last week while travelling in Mumbai Local, involved a really high caliber Hijra. She would go to every compartment and face towards the people sitting and give them blessings in Hindi and repeat the same in English. Her voice would certainly sound how considerate she was in choosing the words. She would repeat saying that she doesn’t want to force anyone to give money and irrespective of whether or not they give the money, her blessings would apply. She was dressed really well and had a make up with kajal/mascara in her eyes. Her hair was straightened out. So yeah, she irrespective of the world choosing to deprive of her rights, she was being a humble human trying to make her living somehow. I was totally impressed by her charisma.

Note : I chose to use ‘she’, because she closely represented a woman. I am not sure if it should be he/she or it ! I will let you read as way you would want.

So I would like to ask you, who is having moral fiber, was it her or us ? Are we being a part of some social taboo without even acknowledging ? Are we so called social animals, proving the animal part in us is still intact ? Are we humans, with humanity in a calculated fashion ? Is it all just a shame in the name of morality, humanity, emotional feelings ? What are we being in a so called culturally developed humans ?

Note : There are even more harsh realities about Hijras in society. I would dwell on those aspects only when I get some valid information and when I am in a stage to post about it. This has been kept PG for anyone to read. There might be other rated versions.

( Please share your views and opinions in the comments below )

Social Dilemma – A Widowed Man Remarriage

Once upon a time, in the land where I come from, woman were forced to perform Sati, when her husband was no more. She used to be burnt alive (WTF, I didn’t even realize it till date, the ALIVE part) in the same fire that burnt her husband’s death body. This was to show her commitment to her husband, in good and bad, in life and death, we will be together. (This guys were partly sweet and partly fools to take the ‘together in death’ literally) But I don’t know why they didn’t do the same for Men whose wife would die.

Well that’s how it was in India, not so long back before the Sati Custom was put off. There hasn’t been a clear understanding on what needs to be done of the Widowed Man or Woman. What should be the attempt after the death of their partner. Should they be remarried ? Should they live their entire alone, in grief of their partner ? It applies to both Man and Woman, the solitude is always engraving in its own way. It becomes even more tragic when sudden death happens, after few years of marriage. And nothing can compare to the pain of a person, man or woman, to grief in the lose of the partner and take care of the child.

This is the particular case, I want to talk about today. I take case of the man today, but be open to convert into feminine form, I might post that someday soon. So a man gets married to a beautiful woman and they live a wonderful life. They have a beautiful baby girl. Due to some event, the lady says goodbye to this earth. There is mourning in the family, sadness all around. After a month, only a few remember the event and everyone goes on in their life. The man takes care of the child. He becomes fommy (father mommy). The child is 2 now.

Every morning his day starts with taking care of the child, getting the kid ready, then go to work, come back, eat, feed, sleep, wake up, change diapers, sleep, wake up and it repeats. I believe either he could take the kid with him to work, if he is all alone in a far off city, but if he is back at his home town, his other family members would take care of the girl, when he is away for work. So the man, does his best to be a father as well as a mother.

One Sunday, a year after his wife passed away, one of his close relative, asks him to marry again, for the sake of child. Then this episode repeats over the period of time, everywhere he goes. Everyone from his family, relatives, colleagues, party fellows, neighbors and a passer by, suggests him to marry. But there is nothing beyond love for the kid for him at this point of time. He takes care of the girl, as a single parent. He raises her to become a very intelligent, bold and amazing girl. She completes her graduation and joins a IT company. She earns huge sum and everyone is happy about her in the family. She is an independent woman now.

In the due course of time, the man grew up and he didn’t realize how time flew by. Now when he is resting in his house, he comes to think of if he should marry again. He likes a woman, who is a single woman herself. She didn’t get to marry somehow, because of her passion for work and her dreams. She likes the man as well. They both talk and share emotions for each other.

So, when it is time for the girl to be tying knots herself, is it alright for the Man to think about his remarriage ! He is so damn confused ? What should he tell his daughter ? What should he tell his family members and what they will have to tell about it ? What do you have to say about the Widowed Man think about his remarriage after so many years ?

I believe it would be different for everyone, some might marry early on for the sake of child, some might marry when the kid is grown up and some might not marry at all. It is an individuals choice and he/she must be given a fair choice of exploring life in the way want to. They must however do all their duties rightfully.