As the Centre’s BJP government remains determined to end the practice of triple talaq among Muslims, the curse of dowry continues to affect millions of women across India.
The latest in the series is a shameful treatment meted out to two brides in Uttar Pradesh, where girls were humiliated on the night of their wedding because their parents could not arrange for dowry.
Two brides were asked to go back to their parental houses by their would-be husbands after they failed to meet the dowry demands.
According to an FIR lodged with the police yesterday by the bride, Rani, of Borrakhurd village in Kotwali Awagarh, the groom, Brajesh, and in-laws returned her to parents house after she was not able to meet their demand to bring a motorcycle as dowry along with her.
Rani said that there was no demand like such from her in-laws when the dowry was decided before to the marriage.
A case has been registered against five persons, including the groom, who hails from Hathras district, police said, adding the investigation is on.
In another incident, Satyveer Singh, father of the bride, Mamta, of Nagla Bhupaol village in Kotwali Malawan has lodged a complaint with the police that the would-be husband of his daughter, along with his family members, returned the bride over dowry issue.
Singh said that they had already given “sufficient” dowry to Girish, but his family was not convinced.
Police said they are investigation the matter.
Many experts have expressed their shock on the priority of the Centre’s Modi government as it threw its weight behind on the issue of triple talaq while doing effectively nothing on fighting the menace of dowry.
Contrary to the incessant coverage in the Indian media, often accused of the cheer-leaders of the current government, the dowry posed more threats to Indian women than the issue of triple talaq.
A total of 24,771 dowry deaths had been reported in the country between 2012 and 2014 with maximum of them occurring in Uttar Pradesh with 7,048 deaths.
In a written reply in Lok Sabha in 2015, Women and Child Development Ministry Maneka Gandhi had said that 8,233, 8,083, and 8,455 cases were registered under section 304B of the Indian Penal Code (Dowry Death) in the country in 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively.
Experts say that these numbers could be significantly higher in the subsequent years once the data is made available by the government agencies.
(With additional inputs from PTI)
The government’s refusal to address the rising number of dowry-related deaths, which are mostly murders, forces many to question its intention. Many Muslim groups have questioned if the BJP government was using the triple talaq to introduce its Uniform Civil Code through the back door.
By digging out any case study of Muslim woman at the receiving end of triple talaq and giving it prominent coverage through high-octane TV debates, the pro-government media too has been accused of playing its role pusing the government’s partisan narrative.