Bride Burning In India

1177 Words 5 Pages
Bride burning is exactly what it sounds like, and it is not just a problem of past. Bride burning is occurs in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and other surrounding countries; despite laws being in place to prevent it. India is where most cases are documented, but because of stigma many are reported as accidental deaths or suicides and are not accounted for in statistics. Bride burning has occurred throughout history, caused by disputes over dowry, and ends with the newlywed woman burned alive. Dowries are payments made to the groom 's family from the wife 's family in exchange for marriage to their daughter. Many may believe that bride burning is an ancient practice that not longer occurs, but bride burning is still relevant because dowries occur …show more content…
Because of the collectivist society, families often do not report the burnings and refuse to take back their daughter if she has survived a burning because of cultural norms and the shame it would bear on the family (Himendra Thakur). The number of unreported deaths is unknown, but would most likely add a decent amount to the current reported statistics. The family’s refusal to take in their daughter after repeated abuse stems from cultural expectations, but also fear of being social anomalies. “Collectivism, in contrast emphasizes embeddedness of individuals in a larger group. It encourages conformity and discourages individuals from dissenting and standing out” (Gorodnichenko and Roland 2). This is similar to the actions of those who lived in Germany during the Holocaust. People would rather let an unjust act happen and stay silent than be persecuted for their beliefs and socially ostracised, especially in a collectivist society where the action of one family member would affect the entire family. Although the stakes are very different for the families of a woman who has been affected by bride burning than for families during the holocaust, the silence of both groups led and can lead to more harm than good. In order to create a solution for bride burning, it must first be addressed in the countries where it occurs. India has The Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961 in place, banning dowries altogether, but it is not enforced and …show more content…
Citizens must be retaught that use of dowries as a part of culture must be ended as it only furthers the oppression of women and advancement of the patriarchal society. Yes, this is a difficult thing to achieve when millions of families see nothing wrong with the use of dowries, but it objectifies the woman and subjects her to violence and inferiority. The police must place more importance on ending violence against women, as it has increased by 58.2% since 2010 (“Crime in India- 2014” 85). Societies must evolve socially and be willing to break the silence surrounding taboo things such as bride burnings and dowry violence in order to put a stop to it altogether. It is important for families to take back their daughters if she is being abused in her marriage, even if it is the norm for women to be subordinate and stay with their husband. Through bride burnings we learn that the silence of the people only helps to facilitate the crime and shelter perpetrators from punishment, and these attitudes only normalize domestic

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