In its fight against female genocide in India, the 50Million Missing Campaign has marked the practice of DOWRY as its STRATEGIC TARGET. You can join the “War on Dowry” movement on facebook.
What is driving the female genocide in India? What is the linking factor that is causing the systematic and targeted annihilation of women through feticide, infanticide and dowry murders. This is the question that we at the campaign have been asking.
After 3 years of observations, research, surveys, cases, discussions, and analysis, the conclusion we have reached is that none of the following is a factor in India’s female genocide : economics, education, class, caste, religion, and community. It involves the educated and wealthy, as well as the poor and uneducated, a conclusion also reached in a recent High Court verdict. In an infanticide case the Court concluded with this statement, “60 years of independence and so-called modernization has not changed the societal attitude towards the female child. Across the board; rural or urban, educated and uneducated, rich and poor, the skewed sex ratio adverse to the female child is a sad mirror image of the social thinking even in the 21st Century.”
So what is driving the female genocide in India?
The answer: A vulgar, chronic, and criminal GREED for dowry.
Dowry in India today has become the no.1 method of criminal extortion through the infliction of blackmail, torture, violence, and murder of women.
Every son born into a family is greedily viewed as the ‘golden goose’ who will bring in the fantasized wealth through the dowry they will demand when he gets married. So families want more and more sons. There is no end to the wealth demand even after marriage, and if the woman is killed, the son can marry again. For another dowry! Why kill, why not just divorce? In the case of divorce, there is always the chance that the woman or her family will demand their dowry money/ items back.
The families that are consumed with hoarding dowry, are the same ones that also do not want to pay dowry to other families. Hence, not only do they torment and kill women who marry into their families, but they destroy daughters in their own families through selective female feticide, infanticide and the killing of toddlers through starvation and deliberate neglect.
Dowry – the practice of easy wealth acquisition is spreading like wild-fire in India. Communities, regions and religions that never traditionally practiced dowry, have now jumped on the band-wagon. Along with this there is an uncontrolled increase in the murder of women and girl infants and an exponential increase in female feticide.
As of yet the system of law and order in India has shown little inclination towards bringing this situation under control. It is riddled with corruption and incompetence, and many in the government offices, police and medical establishment themselves indulge in dowry and female feticide. The possibility for change through the official channels therefore is bleak.
What then would be the most realistic and doable method at the grassroots level that would guarantee a visible impact for change in the shortest possible time. When we are talking about human lives, time is of the essence!
The 50 MM’s strategy is to target the custom of dowry, specifically addressing girls, women and the families with daughters. (Extortionists have no conscience. So we don’t think it is any use negotiating with them.)
In our ‘WAR ON DOWRY’ the following messages will be the focus of our PUBLIC projects:
* A man who needs his in-laws to fund his family incessantly is not fit for marriage.
* It is foolish to pay dowry to a family that is torturing your daughter and could ultimately kill her.
* It is wiser to spend that money on enabling your daughter to be secure and independent through education and or her own business.
* Your daughter’s life and safety is more important than her marriage. Parents must make that their prerogative.
* Treat the first dowry demand, before or after marriage as a death threat and either don’t marry your daughter into that family or get her out immediately. Don’t every send her back. In most cases that is when the girls get killed.
* A family that extorts for dowry is lowly, criminal, and perverse. Why would you want your daughter to marry into that family? Would you feel proud being related to people like that?
* In a country where there are 50 million more men than women – it is the woman’s prerogative to choose a good groom. Women and their families MUST recognize that the choice is theirs! They must choose wisely.
1. I will not accept any dowry or extravagant wedding gifts (of a cumulative value of Rs.20,000/- or more) or favors (in cash or kind), even if these are offered to me or my family.
2. I will not give any dowry or wedding gifts that are demanded of me and my family, and I will sever contact with any family that makes such a demand and report them to the police.
3. I will not marry/ marry my daughters into a family that gives or takes dowry in any form.
4. I will not attend or support weddings where I am aware that dowry and/or extravagant gifts have been demanded and given.
The The War on Dowry Pledge petition to The 50 Million Missing Campaign Supporters was written by THE 50 MILLION MISSING CAMPAIGN and is in the category Gender Rights and Issues at GoPetition.