THE DOWRY SYSTEM
The dowry system has been in practice in Pakistan from time immemorial. Now it has become a curse. It poses a challenge which seems difficult to meet. The demand for the dowry became most essential condition of the marriage settlement. Middle class people became the main target of the attack.
Though Pakistan has a host of social problems to tackle today, yet the biggest-which the country is facing, is dowry. Today we fix dowry rates for boys of different categories doctors, engineers, lecturers, business men, executives. Merit of the girl has nothing to do in the settlement of the marriage proposal. We generally see that ordinary parents find it difficult to select a boy, well-settled in life, for their girl who is well qualified and well-versed with household activities.
Now a day’s marriage is a game of dowry hunters, Marriage, which is something sacred, should be made as simple as possible. It would not be out of place to mention one of the sayings of the Holy Prophet (SAWW: Peace be upon him), “The best marriage is that upon which the least trouble and expense is bestowed.” It is sad that we have departed from the teachings of the Messenger of Allah.
The dowry system has given birth too many evils. Many parents incur huge debts in order to give dowries to their daughters. They work hard during the rest of their lives to pay off the debts. Others do not hesitate to earn money by unfair means to meet the demand of dowry. The devil of dowry has put an end to the happiness of many couples even after marriage. Many young married girls commit suicide when they find their domestic embittered by the daily taunts of their mothers-in-law. That is not all. There are other evils too.
The social evil of dowry system attracted the attention of the government in the recent past. Dowry was restricted to a limited amount. Number of guests was also restricted and they were to be served with cold drinks only. But it received no support of the people and the administration also did not take it up very seriously.
The dowry system has been eating into the vitals of the society. The rich as well as the poor are now suffering more or less similarly from this social curse. Steps may be taken to make all realize the hollowness of the system and induce them to discard it altogether. Steps may also be taken to convince them about the futility of lavish expenditure for marriages. The press can do a lot in moldings the opinion of the people. The-students should come forward to fight this social evil.