This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Priyanka Arora. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

The Anti Dowry Law Has Been Wrongfully Used Against Men, But Will The Proposed Amendment Help?

More from Priyanka Arora

By Priyanka Arora:

The degradation of society due to the pernicious system of dowry and unconscionable demands made by the greedy and unscrupulous husbands and their parents, has resulted in an alarming number of suicidal and dowry deaths. Living in 21st century, we might claim to be intellectually superior to our forefathers but we still haven’t been able to release our society from the shackles of dowry. The roots of dowry system are still very strong and sturdy, en-rooted deep within the framework of our society.

anti dowry law

That the woman is the worst sufferer in the entire exchange of dowry goes without saying. The government acted to curb this old guarded social evil in the form of enactment of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. The biggest irony of Indian legal system is that we have laws for almost all the crimes and offences imaginable, but despite that the law and order is in deep muddle. People lack confidence in the justice and fairness of the legal system and are therefore afraid to initiate the process of seeking justice.

The laws and acts enacted are never followed in letter and spirit and hence its misuse becomes rampant. Recent data shows that there has been abuse of anti dowry law by bride and her family where they press false charges on the grooms and his family, causing both monetary loss and loss in their social prestige. To save people from such vulnerable situations and to prevent abuse of the law, there is a proposed amendment to this law by which immediate arrest won’t be made against whom the complaint is registered. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had directed the state governments to instruct police “not to automatically arrest when a case under Section 498A of IPC [dowry harassment] is registered but to satisfy themselves about the necessity for arrest under the parameters laid down flowing from Section 41 of CrPC.”

While giving the direction, the apex court had shown concern over the mishandling of the anti dowry law by “disgruntled” wives against her husband and in-laws, and noted that the act was being increasingly used to hassle in-laws.

The proposed amendment intends to give sufficient time to the police before coming to any conclusion and thereby saving the face of those who have been falsely charged. But on the other hand, it would be doing injustice to those who suffer because of the unethical demand of dowry and it will make the law weak and hollow. It will give liberty to the culprit to use his power and authority to suppress the complaint. It must be kept in mind that the instance of misuse of the law is much less compared to incident unreported. And if the law is made futile, people won’t dare seek justice for the fear of being dragged into unfruitful, long legal battles.

A better approach to address the issue of misuse of the law could be to introduce hefty penalty for false complain which will act as a deterrent. The judiciary is not expected to be “penny wise pound foolish” i.e. to save a few, it can’t let the majority suffer. But if at the first stage itself, there will be no listener’s to the victims’ plight then it would be difficult to encourage people to come out and take steps to challenge the problem and not to succumb to it.

You must be to comment.
  1. Ashi

    So you mean if “the few” suffer,it would not promote manhandling of the already existing questionable Dowry Act. Yes “a few” cases are real as well. But is that the kind of approach you suggest. Really? I think while writing about something so crucial better get the facts right and also a better understanding at ground levels. The objective of any law is justice rather than punishment. Injustice whether to anyone doesn’t make the judiciary correct. For a country which is governed more by emotions than logic there is an urgent need to regulate laws and not overlooking injustice.

  2. Gaurav

    the laws are always abused by those who are powerful and have contacts and the real victims never get justice. laws have to be framed in a manner that it cannot be exploited by the clever men and women in society against the real victims.

  3. sanjay punia

    Anti dowry law is totally misused by the wife’s because if the husband or his family members tells her any thing .she start blackmailing them and put pressure on his husband and family members to fulfill her useless demands.Due to all the power given to wife’s by the law ,the husband’s who want to end up his relationship with his wife he does not proced to court because he knows that he will not get Justice from he takes helps of panchyat and pay moneys and fulfill other demands of wifes family members .in this way due to tomuch power given to wife’s they exploite there husband in every possible ways I.e.physically, mentally, socially economically.

More from Priyanka Arora

Similar Posts

By sumitrealestateblog

By Sahil Razvii

By Sanjay Lodh

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below