Dowry Prohibition Act, Indian law, enacted on May 1, 1961, intended to prevent the giving or receiving of a dowry. Under the Dowry Prohibition Act, dowry includes property, goods, or money given by either party to the marriage, by the parents of either party, or by anyone else in connection with the marriage.
However, over the decades, Indian mindset has been programmed in a way, where we only curse and jail family of Grooms demanding Dowry, while families of Brides are painted as victims. This is exactly why the problem of Dowry has still not been eliminated completely from our society.
Ladies & Gentlemen, presenting Akshay Kumar starrer Raksha Bandhan – The Film trailer, that celebrates the bond of a patriarchal brother trying to get rid of his sisters. Lets dissect the message of the trailer, as we understand why ‘patriarchal mindset’ of the families of young girls, including the brides, are more at fault in promoting the regressive practice of Dowry.
While one will wait to see the final message of the film, the trailer somehow projects that Women are a burden, who are only born to be married off. But then we only blame the Groom and their families!
Protagonist Akshay Kumar – Bollywood’s Bhai-Daan
The trailer commences with a scene where the female lead actor Bhumi Pednekar is seen pleading for marriage with the male protagonist, as the two seem to be romantically involved since childhood.
Cut to the next scene, director Aanand L Rai introduces four fully-abled sisters of Kumar, almost projecting them as some sort of loaded cartons, which need to be parcelled off to various P.O. Box numbers.
Akshay Kumar, throughout the trailer, has been showcased as a victim, a selfless devoted brother, who is willing to do anything to ‘pay’ and get his sisters married.
As the trailer progresses, Bhai-Daan is worried as he will have to shell out Rs 20 lakh as dowry for each of his sisters. This is how casually ‘giving dowry’ – which is equally a crime in India – is justified.
Kabaadi Wala Hai Woh!
The brother has become so desperate to do away with the ‘extra luggage’ at home, that he seems to set up his sisters with any random guy he sees. In one of the scenes, when Kumar proposes alliance with a visitor at home, his sister is seen screaming “Kabaadi wala hai woh…” (he is a scrap dealer).
The scene tries to create humour, misleading us completely how selfless hardworking Kabaadi Walas can be mocked and insulted! Somewhat like…..hamari naak ka nahi hai types……..(lower status). Reverse genders, and it becomes a social taboo if Men reject Women who are ‘not appealing’ or as per their financial status.
Effectively, we love to blame it all on patriarchy, but when it comes to choosing a life partner, most women always choose to fall for a patriarchal well-settled provider. Not being judgemental, we all want a comfortable and secured life…just pointing out certain hypocrisies.
Pednekar’s Father – The Same Patriarchal Syndrome Continues
This man too, seems too desperate to do away with his ‘responsibility’ as soon as possible and also boasts how he has enough money to be paid as ‘dowry’ to his would-be son-in-law. These are the same fathers who file police complaints under Section 498-A IPC if ‘Papa Ki Paris’ are not happy in their matrimonial homes.
Dowry Problem – For Real OR Victimhood To Transfer Your Burden To Others?
Towards the end of the trailer, Akshay Kumar is seen giving his sarcastic emotional rant of how every brother in India is struggling to marry off his sister with respect. He also mortgages his shop to marry his sister number 1.
These are the same brothers who sit to negotiate for alimony, if their brothers-in-law refuse to transfer ancestral property in their behna’s name.
- In India, many parents still treat women as paraaya dhan, which means the only aim of a girl’s father (family) is to ensure that their daughter is married, and from there on their ‘duty’ is complete
- Most families, even today, get their daughters educated not because they want them to become independent, but because they want to flash their notional degrees to get a match, much higher to that of their status
- Can a problem ever exist if both sides are not equally guilty?
- The first question asked by any bride’s family is, “Ladka kya karta hai, kitna kamata hai, kya uska apna ghar hai?” (What does the boy do, how much does he earn, does he have his own house?)
- Yes, this is not termed as Dowry, this is only “Lifelong Security for our Beti”
- How often do we see parents looking for equal qualification in their son-in-law, as that of their daughters?
- If the girl is a graduate, parents want qualified professional, if girl is a professional, parents want damaad earning minimum double than what Bitiya does
- When is the last time you checked out biodata of young girls on matrimonial sites – most often you will read – Girl Earning: X, Expected Salary of Groom: 3-5 X
- Yes, this is not termed as Dowry, this is only our ‘Right to Lifelong Security’
- People in India are willing to sell their assets, even kidneys to pay Dowry and get ‘rid’ of their daughters, but feel its a waste to channelise that same money in making their daughters self dependent
- Families of women look at Marriage as end of their ‘obligation’, while they suddenly wake up to all rights of their daughter after marriage – Remember Dowry is Illegal, Alimony is a birthright even if married for one single day
- All four sisters in the trailer are abled-bodied women, but somewhere we love to showcase victimhood of how they have only descended on earth to live with ease, having zero onus of supporting and taking charge of their own lives: My Body My Choice……….But when it comes to earning, Women choose to have No Voice….
- Remember, a boy child does not enjoy such privilege……..from childhood he is told how he has to grow up and become a ‘provider’ for his family – the biggest form of patriarchy which the feminists don’t seem to object
- And if one wants to give the argument of how women need to take care of their home, children, then let the argument rest once and for all, that Equality can only be achieved on social media, because in practice, both Men and Women have been defined differently, be it physically, mentally, emotionally…and instead of running in a race against each other, we must aim to compliment the other
- The menace of dowry will not be eliminated until Women stand up for themselves and demand an equal alliance in every right, instead of submitting themselves to someone who thinks can become ‘her master’
- At no point in time, we are trying to justify demands of dowry from groom’s side, but the limited argument translates into how you can’t clap with one hand
- There are endless cases where women never had passports in parental home, but demand 2-3 international holidays after marriage; Women who never cared to question their own fathers/brothers, force husbands to transfer properties from HIS parents to HER name
- We need to call out families of brides, who camouflage themselves as ‘victims’, while in reality their expectations from son-in-laws are beyond than what they have ever seen themselves
- To sum up, Bollywood & media at large, love to play up on emotions of people – People who are made to believe that society has not moved beyond the 20th century, where women and their families are the sole victims and men and their families continue to be the real monsters!
— Voice For Men India (@voiceformenind) June 27, 2022
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