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Dowry cases in Assam – Shun dowry its not our culture

In an age when we are trumpetting the cause of woman emancipation, holding forth the cause of the girl child, talking about eqality of gender, the ugly blot of dowry deaths annihilate all the tall claims of suh high profile issues. Apparently these find primacy only in rhetoric rather than in reality. Bride burning , atrocities on women etc were maladies that had afflicted other parts of the country especially the northern parts iof India but slowly these have penetrated into the Assamese society as well. Earlier Assam was the only state which was untouched by the dreaded disease of dowry but today it has raised its ugly head even in our own society. A survey recently exposed that a few cases have been registered in the Panbazar police station where Assamese families have been involved in dowry and its related symptoms. There is no denying the fact that many women, many urban women have achieved great heights in their chosen fields and are marching ahead in life matching every step with their male counterparts but these are mostly modern women of modern India. These women are educated enlightened and worldly wise but what about the women in the villages? Can we name a few women who have defied norms? The pattern shows that the urban women are constantly evolving and improving their quality of life but sadly the lives of the rural women are at a standstill. Girls are still married off at a tender age risking both their health and future, they still face hardships and persecution by society to a large extent, all because they are not aware of the changing face of modern women. Very few girls complete school and go to college as marriage is the only goal that they can look forward to. Early marriage and early children compounded with the responsibility of keeping house seldom allow these women to seek greener pastures. They are also often abused by their husbands or in laws and fail to stand up for themselves. And since the majority of our population dwell in villages the talks of women emancipation seems irrelevant, for we need to uphold the cause of the women folk of the village. We need to educate them to make them aware of their rights. There are many NGOs and other government bodies that are working in villages in this regard but we need to do more. Every woman in the village needs to be enlightened and empowered. The women’s bill at this juncture comes as a welcome change but are the rural women aware of it. They should know that they need not undergo sufferings at the hands of any one and that this bill is to protect them.

However, compared to other states the status of women in Assam is far better than the rest of the country. Women here feel far safer than in other parts and we need to maintain these great traditions in our state. So far we have been proud of being a dowry free state but a few greedy individuals threaten to destroy this spotless reputation. It becomes our duty to report any such incidents to the authorities for if we remain complacent we too will lose many innocent women to the evil clutches of Dowry.

Lets us be proud of our culture and uphold it.

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Rituparna Goswami Pande's picture

Journalist, writer

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jaay's picture

Are we losing our identity? Or is it that the ideals, with which our traditions were written carry no meaning in these times? Questions like these are to be answered and these answers should come from all sections of the society. Probably if a survey is carried out for these questions, you may find that the answer lies in the fact that MONEY POWER is taking the toll on the values imparted to us. Not that woman are not educated or not protected but probably there is a change in outlook of the society towards the women has changed. Women, who was respected for who she was, is just an object, who could be used to gain that extra buck, which I think would not last even minute after they lay their hands on. Thought provoking article, thanks for reiterating facts which we know, understand but are helpless to act on.

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