Dowry shouldn't even be a word any more. But we know it is very much a real issue far from being eliminated. Over the past year or so, I've heard of at least 5 cases of dowry: as in a sizeable sum of money being given by the bride's family to the groom's family during the wedding. All of these cases (both "love" marriages and "arranged") are from middle-class or affluent families, where both parties involved are well-educated, ostensibly "forward" and what not. What the fuck exactly happens to all of that suddenly? I don't get it. I am yet to reach a stage of smugness where the sheer ridiculousness of such things leaves me unfazed. It gets me most riled up to see that women whose parents have invested in a strong, well-rounded education for them amongst other things, women who are smart, very vociferous in their daily life and workplace, let themselves be party to the pratice of dowry. Really, WTF is all I have to say. Because I have heard all kinds of ludicrous justifications in the face of all of this. Women adopting a passive stance "My parents can afford it, so why bother and kick up a storm"; or "This is an old tradition, no point fighting it if that's what the elders want" etc. etc. Or it is that horrible desperation to "Get married" that pervades the indian strata - so a demand for dowry cannot be an impediment, after all "its a nice family, girl and guy like each other, horoscopes match, girl needs to "get settled", what's a few lakhs or crores or so being demanded, eh? especially when one can afford it.." What? What happens to self-respect? And really, how many times in your life do you, as an adult, just blindly follow what your parents say?? And here you are willing to accept this without questioning it, let alone calling the police and putting those people in jail because that is what you need to be doing. How much of respect do you have for a guy who is willing to put a price on you or the marriage? Yes, dowry is discussed, even bargained in these instances. It disgusts me that the girl allows it to happen. And don't even get me started on how low I think of the boy in question. How, then, can a girl allow herself to marry this person and live a life with such a spineless person? And the point is not about keeping elders happy or that your parents can afford it, the point is perpetuating this crime, a battle that scores of poor, lesser privileged women are constantly fighting in a very sordid and gory fashion. And here you have people spending lakhs of rupees on ostentatious weddings and bargaining dowry without batting an eyelid. SHAME ON ALL OF THEM!