A Letter to the Editor in yesterday's The Statesman
Recently, I happened to visit a remote village, Simlapal, in the Bankura district of West Bengal, where I stayed with my relatives for a few days. My relative attended a marriage ceremony there. I was stunned to learn that scads of money are still paid as dowry by the bride’s parents. At the said ceremony, the bride’s parents reportedly paid a whopping Rs 300,000 as dowry for the groom who is a petty government employee. The rate of dowry is said to vary between Rs 300,000 and Rs 1 million or more according to the social status of the groom. The dowry system and child marriage are two gargantuan evils which are acting as pestering sores and eroding our social fabric stealthily. Social activists should come forward to disabuse such superstitious people of their atavistic mindset and infuse a spirit of broadness and liberalism.
Nripen Basu, Calcutta