If Men Are Not Gold-Diggers, Why Is Dowry A Stark Reality?

Men are gold-diggers, BJP LEADER ATIF NIZAMI, Dowry in Disguise
Men are gold-diggers too. Why is the term gold digger only associated with women? Why this slang is not gender-neutral? A gold digger is a woman who typically engages in a relationship only for money. In our society, it is considered that no man goes after a women’s money. Still, the data says something else.

35,493 deaths occurred in India due to dowry between 2017-2021 according to the union minister of state. Twenty women are killed every day by dowry sharks in India. There are 5,354 dowry deaths in Bihar, 2,859 in Madhya Pradesh, 2,389 in west Bengal, and 2,244 in Rajasthan. 

Dowry is a crime in India under the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. Still, it is not very unusual to observe dowry, so many people practice dowry and to our amazement instead of being shameful, it has become a matter of pride. Nowadays, grooms who are literate are expected to eradicate such evil practices but the irony is educated men demand more.

If we try to dwell on our past we will understand that dowry is something that a father gives to his daughter during her marriage, quite often it is disguised under ‘streedhan’ and it cannot be her husband’s or in-law’s property. Often this practice takes a brutal, forceful, and abusive turn. It is also observed that nowadays the groom’s family does not openly demand dowry rather than they keep asking for things indirectly. 

Dowry is still prevalent even after strict laws because of the patriarchal mindset of society, it is an alarming situation that needs to be addressed. The more we dive into this topic the more we will understand how ignorant we are about this evil practice which includes domestic violence, physical and mental abuse, murders, and other heinous crimes. 

It is a shame that Indian society till today thinks that women require men to take care of themselves and that they should marry someone who provides them with all luxuries. This ‘women are gold-digger’ mentality is also portrayed in many songs and movies, the lyrics uplifting the mindset of a patriarchal society and misogynistic approach.  (Remember Mumbai ki na Dilli walon ki, Pinky hai paise walon ki?)

Men are gold-diggers too

No man in any song demands money but in reality, dowry is practised and still, no male is called a gold digger, how is it even fair?

Women, for ages, have been confined to kitchens and household work. But nowadays, even after being financially independent and educated, they are still considered inferior.

We can eradicate dowry in India by encouraging girls to take a stand for their rights, empowering them with education and financial independence, and teaching every individual to say ‘no’ when something goes wrong. Living a life with dignity is our fundamental right guaranteed in our constitution and we must practice it. 

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi once said- “Any young man, who makes dowry a condition to marriage, discredits his education and his country and dishonours womanhood.” Dowry is a wrong practice then, now, and will always be.

Views expressed are the author’s own.

Saumya Shah is a Public Relations Communication Intern at Team Aashraya.

Suggested Readings: How Many Souls Must Dowry Crush Before Going Out Of Fashion?

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