Tuesday, December 12, 2006

How deeply entrenched is dowry ?

I was reading an article in the Times of India section about New Zealand seeking to bring in laws to curtail dowry. At a very superficial glance, it seemed to be strange; why would New Zealand have anything to do with dowry ?
Then more detailed reading made things clear and shocking. It is the Indian heinous custom of selling husbands that gets replicated even if you are in foreign lands. What actually happens is that grooms having New Zealand citizenship or residency come to India, demand huge dowries for marriage and then sponsor their wives for a New Zealand visa. It is not necessary that the marriage has been registered in India, and hence proof is not available of the marriage.
Once these money-suckers / grooms go back to New Zealand, they demand more dowry from their in-laws, and if these are not available, they cancel the visa sponsorship. How greedy can people get ?
Now the New Zealand authorities are trying to bring some control into this situation, and they might actually pass laws making dowry illegal, just as there are in India. And we can be sure that with good enforcement happening, these greedy dishonest money seekers and their families will face justice. But the worst part is that these people are exposing the seedy under-belly of India culture, and I am sure that a lot of Indians will actually feel embarrased when they start reading about such cases happening outside India.

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 9:00 PM