Celebrities have always shaped people’s mind-sets. The clothes they wear become trends the very next day. Even the way they speak and their accents are adopted by people. Now it’s time to follow the footsteps of sports icons and youth Inspiration. Champion of Free style wrestling Yogeshwar Dutt who has proved himself winner off the wrestling mat. He has become a great source of inspiration by not accepting dowry and being a winner in the anti-dowry campaign.
He says, “I have seen how my family had to cough up for dowry while getting my sisters married. At that day I took pledge to excel in wrestling and not take dowry. I had completed first pledge much earlier and it is time to fulfil second one.” This stance taken by Yogeshwar is for sure going to push anti-dowry sentiments within the minds of his followers. This social evil still persists in almost all areas either rural or urban.
In Uttar Pradesh dowry has gained such a strong hold that even educated and modern families does not hesitate in presenting their list of demands. Sometimes situation is so bad that educated girls from poor families get married to uneducated men due to the inability of their family to give dowry. Sons are being educated with purpose to sell them one day as per their education, family background in the competitive market of dowry in UP.
My neighbour, Mr Pandey hails from eastern Uttar Pradesh, and is working in Delhi. When I discussed this with him he unveiled that dowry is very much present in Uttar Pradesh. He said, “When I went to my village to find groom for my eldest daughter Neema, I grappled with this monster of Dowry personally.” He said that when he went to one family in whose son (potential groom for his daughter) was primary teacher in a government school, they started asking him his budget. Mr. Pandey answered, “This is not buying or selling of a product from market.” To this the family replied saying, “Before you, a family came to our home and offered us ₹7 lakh in cash and one Swift Dzire car”. Mr. Pandey also said that this is the way their family deals with brides family. Their demands are exorbitantly high.
Sometimes in order to get whooping dowry some families mislead people by sending their son to a metropolis for sometime in order to present an attractive portfolio of their son to the bride’s family. The aim here is to show that he is well settled in metropolitan city which sounds much lucrative to the bride’s family and this becomes the premise for demanding a whooping sum for dowry and once they get married the boy returns to his village.
There are a number of stories of dowry not confined to rural areas but the its clouds hover over all segments of the society, from educated to uneducated, from middle class to upper class people. But Yogeshwar Dutt by accepting ₹1 as dowry has set a major precedent among the youth to come up and combat this devil. Now the time has come that every groom should come out and say “I want a bride not dowry”.
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