Thursday, March 22, 2007


The title of this post might sound very harsh, acidic, repulsive, and violent too. But then I thought, if I am writing on the horrific acts perpetrated in our society, let the title be as horrifying, as the act itself.
This happened just yesterday, a lady in ahmedabad, fed up by the incessant demands for dowry from her in laws, and her husband, and the inhuman, and constant torcher by them, went to a local park with her 6 year old daughter, doused herself and her daughter with kerosene, and within the next few minutes, the small crowd of people were witness to a shocking scene of watching a screaming praveena, and her 6 yr old daughter dhwani, as they both burned to death.

Dhwani was deaf and mute, and praveena was blamed by her husband, 4 sisters-in-law, and the in-laws, for giving birth to a disabled child! i was both, angry and sad at the same time, at my helpness and inability to do anything to prevent such inhuman acts, that seem to be increasing by the day.

And we call ourselves belonging to a country that has an over 5000 years of rich culture and heritage, the land of rama and sita, a legacy of pandavas and draupadi, the rich values left behind by the likes of satyavaan, savitri, dhruv, eklavya, harishchandra, and dozens of saints, kings, warriors, leaders, philosophers and idealogues. Shame on us!

I still believe an average Indian child is brought up, listening to stories of panchtantra, isapneeti, Ramayana, Mahabharata, and so on. It is only the advent of a very stark materialistic attitude, sometime later, in his or her life, that brings in this mad craze for more, more, and more money. Its perfectly fine to earn more money, but to display so much greed for money that you go to the extent of burning the bride of the house? The same bride who was brought home with so much love and pride? The same bride who is also referred to the lakshmi of the house? Aren’t we defeating and demeaning the sanctity of an institution called marriage? Aren’t we worse than even the wild animals, who have their own code of conduct, and strictly remain within its framework?

Sadly, in almost all the cases of bride burning, the husband, the inlaws, and other family members are involved. This evil in our society shows no sign of decreasing. This barbaric and inhuman behaviour is, unfortunately , on the rise.

Basic education and awareness is badly the need of the hour. Subjects like moral science should be given much more prominence during the primary education, or the formative years.

Media can play a big role in creating awareness against such incidents. Much harsher anti dowry laws have to come into force. It’s a mammoth task but has to be achieved. It is only when our country is free from rapes, bride burning, and female foeticide, can we sincerely and proudly say “ Mera Bharat Mahaan”