Dowry, root cause of all problems

In his article, Protect women at home: Use the new law, but with care (Nov 11), Amar Chandel has rightly opined that the protection of women from the Domestic Violence Act “will make a substantial difference only if it is combined with a radical change in social mores and attitudes”.

However, this suggested combination is very difficult, if not impossible, as long as the police are corrupt and the khap panchayats are ineffective and indifferent to the changing times.

The dowry system, for instance, is disturbing domestic harmony. The joint family system is almost broken. Modern girls find it hard to adjust and mould themselves to the dictatorial behaviour of their mothers-in-law. There is a clash of outlooks. Husbands either side with their mothers or just endure the clash. And there are continued dowry deaths and endless litigation.

The writer has touched both sides of the problem. False allegations confuse the whole approach by the social workers and law enforcing authorities. The remedy lies in the crusade against dowry. Social workers and NGOs should take the lead on this front. All members of the family must work as a social team in close cooperation with each other for peace, harmony and development.

Prof HARI SINGH, Kheri Jat (Jhajjar)



Considering the social milieu in which we live, women always play second fiddle to their husbands though there may be some exceptions. Most of them are housewives who stay at home doing domestic chores from dawn to midnight and remain submissive.

We cannot expect the new Act to change the women’s status in society overnight. Since the issue is related to our social life, social awakening is necessary with least dependence on the law. Only those women endowed with courage and guts to face the life boldly with no tolerance towards injustice (these include working women) could be expected to rise against the crimes perpetrated against them.

A law is basically meant to be a deterrent against recalcitrant and incorrigible husbands who continue to treat their wives as slaves instead of treating them equally and as affectionate human beings.



The Anti-Dowry Act, has already wrought enough harm by legal exploitation. The deserving victims have been seen to be shy to knock the portals of the courts. Some women or their relatives many a time drag their husbands to the courts to settle scores.

The extant law had enough teeth to bring the wrongdoers to book. The ignorant and shy, well-meaning spouses rarely take their issues to the courts. What they require is the aid of NGOs, women’s organisations, reformers, counsellors, media, etc. to mediate and mend homes.

The state should bite what it can chew. In the West, marriages last for a few years, followed by break-ups, unleashing hell in the children at the hands of stepfathers and mothers. Every law needs to be enforced promptly. Otherwise, there will be misery in the form of endless litigation, providing a field day for the police.

Our rulers seem swayed by the colonial maxim, ‘White man’s burden’. The common man is wrapping them in courts or throwing them in the paws of the police. India has a plethora of laws but they are poorly enforced. What a pity!

V.I.K. SHARMA, Jalandhar


The Domestic Violence Act is timely. It covers all types of women’s harassment — actual abuse or the threat of abuse whether physical, sexual, verbal, emotional or economical. The dowry demand too has been incorporated in this Act which is intended to safeguard the women’s interests.

However, I am afraid, some women and their relatives may misuse the Act by filing false cases against their husbands. Under the Anti-Dowry Act, we have come across many such cases. Sadly, husbands do not have any protection under any law.

Our ancient history and culture reveal that women were truly respected in society, especially those who treated their husbands as Pati Parmeshwar. One never heard of divorce at that time. With the advancement of education and westernisation of our culture, some women care two hoots about their husbands and threaten them with divorce. The new Act should be enforced in letter and spirit, but it should not be misused.


Time to act

Girls are really doing much better now than boys in every field. The proof is there in front of us. The list of cut-off percentage of girls in all the subjects (except Physical Education) is more than that of boys. Boys and girls have been given equal number of seats in this recruitment procedure and their merit lists have been prepared separately.

The rule actually was made keeping in view the welfare of the girls, to encourage girls’ education and to help them get a place in society. But now since girls can do well on their own, they do not need this help. In fact, because of this very rule, girls are suffering now. There is a big difference between the cut-off percentages of boys and girls.



Desi wheat, an innovation

The news item, Haryana scheme for desi wheat (Nov 3) should really enthuse Haryana and Punjab farmers. This will be an incentive for increasing their dwindling income from the wheat produced vis-à-vis the chemical fertiliser-infused varieties of wheat.

There is no gradation in governing the wheat price. Indian wheat produced by farmers is not comparable to the quality of produce in the international market. As a result, Indian wheat has failed to create an impact on the international market. There is also the lack of protein content in the Indian varieties of wheat, with a smaller grain size.

Our farmers have to improve the quality of wheat to compete with the international market. The innovation brought about by Haryana’s scheme for desi wheat will come in handy. JASWANT SINGH SIDHU,




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