Sunday, March 30, 2014

Indian dowry deaths- tradition or murder?

Annu Devi, a twenty-two year old Indian woman was one of many married women who have died from burns inflicted upon them by their relatives. Although Dowry is not permitted under Indian law, most families of the groom expect expensive "gifts" to be given to them upon marriage. If they are unsuitable or if the bride does not produce an heir, traditional Indian families are sometimes compelled to dispose of the woman. In this case, Devi's one year old daughter was also killed in the kerosene conflagration. In 2012 India had a total of 8,233 women murdered by their in-laws due to insufficient dowry.

In general, I have great respect for Indian culture and traditions. However, reading about this story, as well as seeing many others similar to it effected me greatly. I believe culture and traditions showed be encouraged and nurtured in society, but not to the point where instances like this are allowed to happen. Although there are measures against this type of death, like the outlawing of dowries, the fact that a family could collectively kill a baby girl and her mother over this is deeply concerning. Although traditions are important for a community or country's culture, in our ever developing and modernizing world, horrific traditions like this shouldn't be happening. Culture is a wonderful and beautiful part of humanity, and it should be encouraged to remain that way.

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