Media today presents a glance of the Indian contemporary society that is filled with images of custom, relationship, nationalism and familial love. Teeming with lively music, vivid colors and heavenly portrayals of Indian individuals, the audiences are often cajoled into thinking these depictions are accurate representations of attitudes and values of the Indian life. However, often, the realities of life do not always approximate the images shown by the mass media. Because of this, advertising sometimes start impacting the society within an ominous manner. One such concern that is distorted by the marketing is the dowry system. Along the way of raising alarm bells, Bollywood movies, TV shows and press have exploited this issue too much and consequently, worsened its effect. The insatiable greed of the in-laws, which finally brings about torturing of brides, has been outlined so many times by the marketing that the visitors' minds no more recoils from such trend. Furthermore, with the increasing consumerism, higher requirements of living and contact with the public through mass media, the desires of people for material prosperity have also risen, aggravating the malevolent system of dowry.
The dowry system, the custom of making payments from the bride's family to the groom's family at the time of marriage, has a long record in India. It stems right out of the traditional top caste procedures of 'kanyadaan' or gifting the virgin bride-to-be (). Traditionally, these gift ideas could range from anything significant to even small token of good hopes. Historically, the dowry system could have been established as a kind of inheritance for females, because only men inherited the family property. Furthermore, it could have been a means of compensating the groom's family for the financial support that they might share with the new bride-to-be as women has little role as bakery earners for the family, making them dependent on the in regulations. However, in recent times with exposure to mass media, these tokens of products or dowry have transformed into substantial copy of riches from the groom's family to the bride's family, becoming a significant factor in relationship proposals. Most of the relationship decisions nowadays are founded how much dowry is the bride's family ready to give. Even if the bride and groom do not suit one another, their relationship is arranged based on the exchange of dowry between the households. (). However, in the current population, where even women act as financial contributors to the family, this technique becomes trivial. Yet, it includes only inflamed as time passes.
Consequently, the Government of India could not do much to alleviate this issue. Despite having the changes brought about by the Hindu Succession Functions of 1956, which gave women rights of inheritance, and Dowry Prohibition Action of 1961, which legitimately outlawed dowry respectively, this practice still persists due to the fact of two reasons. Firstly, even though recently, the contact with media reduced the support for dowry among women, it appears that women have started out valuing the resources that their dowries bring to their families. The contact with mass media increased the desirability of consumer goods, creating the recently wed couples to view dowry as a means of obtaining them (). The other reason is that parents of daughters still think that a huge dowry will ensure better treatment of their daughters by her in-laws. They think that the dowry will increase their daughter's standing in her new home as it will act as a sign of parental support of the bride. However, this perception is basically baseless and is due to media's misrepresentation of this concern through its different shops.
Dowry is a hot matter that lots of Bollywood films attempted to address. Motion pictures like Lajja and Lage Raho Munnabhai try to create awareness about this issue by depicting extreme sequences. However, this course considered by the directors sometimes backfires. In Lajja, Maithili's parents give everything to satisfy the dowry calls for set up by their in-laws. They lose their land, saved money and even undertake loans for the dowry. Though, Maithili rebels and calls off the wedding, seeing her dad being humiliated by the groom's family for dowry. Even in Lago Raho Munnabhai, Simran's father Lucky Singh continues on to appropriating a vintage age house, going out of 20 old men homeless because the groom's parents needed the land on which house was built. These functions by the bride's family do not happen in real life. However, they are able to distort the views of followers, who then start thinking strongly in this technique. Vivah - A trip from Proposal to Marriage, another mainstream Bollywood film, also reveals a distorted eye-sight of the dowry system but towards the other extreme. Inside the film, the "groom's daddy wants little or nothing more for his child than a virtuous and beautiful wife - dowry is unimportant and unwanted" (). As Poonam's dad is asked for a mere token, the viewers are assured that a dowry is unnecessary when two people are as well suited as these. These motion pictures, as a result, distort what sort of society views the dowry system.
The fact of dowry demands in India is quite not the same as its portrayal in Bollywood movies. The images of the dowry system shown in these videos are not usually what involves pass for a female after her relationship and the giving of her dowry. In Lajja, Maithili's parents tried out to call of the marriage because Maithili's father could not match all but one of their demands. This would never happen in real life. Similarly, what Lucky Singh have in Lage Raho Munnabhai to satisfy the dowry is improbable to be seen today. However, you might also not find someone like Poonam's father- in- legislation, who declined the dowry given by Poonam's father. There are still many Indian marriages, where the bride's treatment at the hands of her in-laws is often tied to the quantity of dowry they obtain. Furthermore, theses dowry needs sometimes do not end with the marriage (). The "shameless" greed of the grooms' families in the form of dowry demands continue for a long time after the wedding, with "suggestions" of further gift ideas to be made-for festivities of the beginning, naming and initiation of grandchildren. Most of the Bollywood neglect to show this aftermath of any dowry induced matrimony.
According to Bedi, "the ever-increasing needs for dowry have led to a rise in dowry-related violence and death among young married women in India, with 8391 dowry loss of life cases this year 2010 exclusively. " The violence that the ladies have to undergo, despite offering dowry, has increased exponentially with the demands of the every-growing dowries. This dowry-related assault is mainly prearranged disorders within the groom's house. Many of these problems include severe burnings, poisonings, hangings, gunshots, distinct items, and jumping from height, generally leading to the immediate fatalities of the women (). Furthermore, the victims do not survey this scheduled to fear of another attack. They need to agree to this "cruelty as the price of keeping their families intact" (). In some of the dowry-induced marriages, women make an effort to commit suicides in a bid to escape the maltreatment from her in-laws. However, other individuals try to take benefit of these instances by confirming the death caused by dowry violence as suicides and protect themselves from tests. Media, in such cases, immediately tries to capitalize about them through videos and Television shows.
A recent Bollywood film, Teen Behenein is based on the real-life event of mixed suicides by three sisters, which occurred in Kanpur in 1988. Though this film has flaws in every complex aspect, including script, course and operating, it still managed to receive praise simply because of the issue that it requires up. "Teen Behenien looks for to make an important point about the varieties of sexual, interpersonal, psychological and assault that continues to be encountered by women. This film only needs the seed of its tale from real-life occurrences of mixed suicides by three sisters, and then creates a narrative around it" (). The director was able to influence the society by merging the fictional and non-fictional worlds. To be able to profit, the director exploited the problem of dowry system by exploiting it.
Satyamev Jayate, possible TV, also tried hard to create awareness about dowry. Aamir Khan, a famous Bollywood professional, is the protagonist who shows social issues that are prevalent in India which have to be addressed. Inside the dowry-focused occurrence, Aamir delineates that every hour one bride-to-be in the united states dies due to dowry harassment. This certainly is not true. As a result, he invites a few women who've been victims of the dowry system to speak about their torture. For example, Komal Sethi spoke about how after being tortured to pay a big total her in-laws and hubby, she was remaining to die in america. Lecturer Nishana, who underwent a plastic surgery to please her spouse, succumbed to the dowry needs of her in-laws and finished up committing suicide (1. 5 million rupees which were given by her parents. Though, these circumstances depict the extremes that this system can go to, they leave a draw of the audience who get started to consider young girls as burdens. Furthermore, the fact that Satyamev Jayate commercialized such very sensitive issues to benefit from them only undermines the validity of its cases.
In a country, where film superstars are believed as ideals, the distorted depiction with their personal lives can have a profound effect on contemporary society. From the creation of superstars, press distorts the view of the Indian world on dowry. In India, film is the principal form of entertainment, and for that reason, film stars are accorded a value otherwise offer only to "family elder and men of God"(). An average of ten million people a day spend the same as a day's wages just to enter a dream world of images of "bad landlord, greedy industrialist, corrupt politicians and traditional virtues of virginity, devotion to God and family and service to men" (). The protagonists, therefore, become the saviors of mankind and the actors begin to be revered by the Indian general public. Relating to Gokulsing and Dissanayake, celebrity worship provide a mental break free from the stresses and poverty of everyday life and statements or actions made by big Bollywood stars, like Amitabh or Shahrukh, can have great effects on public behaviour. In high profile and star-studded relationships, the dowry worthy of fortunes receive; however, just as a custom. An incredible number of rupees in cash, yellow metal, along with luxurious cars receive by the bride's family, but this isn't a compulsion and it is given just out of generosity. However, the people get affected when they see this on the television sets and their dreams increase many- folds. They start fantasizing of luxurious wedding and conclude making brides' lives unpleasant, ruining their families and turning the concept of matrimony has been turned into a transaction, without the importance put on people or the relationship ().
As due to the society's distortion view of the dowry system, in many parts of the country, the labor and birth of a girl is not seen as an event to rejoice. Unlike the loving parents of Poonam in Vivah, the thoughts of several Indian parents aren't positive at the birth of a girl (). The lyrics of a vintage Indian chant used in Punjab "Eat the jiggery, spin the cotton, you ought not come, send your brother" shows that the labor and birth of a woman is seen as a meeting of sorrow. There is absolutely no singing or party, as the parents have to start fretting about the dowry. Young ladies become a drain of family's money, unlike kids who create income for the family and stay to care for his parents in their old age (). This notion has skewed the making love proportion in India, fostered by sex-selective abortions and infanticides. "Matrubhoomi", a Bollywood film, is set in a hypothetical village in India without women. The film will try to bring forth the note that if the rampant woman infanticide and feticide were to continue, then there would be a time where there will be no women kept. However, this film failed in its goal. The film is so extreme that the audience cannot break down it and the film only been successful at undermining the seriousness of this issue.
The numerous representations of dowry system on both big and small monitors, it appears to be distorting to the extent. Because the introduction of media in the Indian contemporary society, views of the folks on the dowry have change significantly. The machine, which was in the beginning meant as a form of inheritance for women, changed as time passes because of its misrepresentation by press. The increasing exposure to media coupled, which increased the desirability of consumer goods, changed this system into a considerable transfer of prosperity from the bride's family to the groom's and made dowry a significant factor determining marriage decisions. Furthermore, recent movies like Lajja, Vivah or Teenager Beheinen only distorted the society's take on dowry by demonstrating extremes situation that are highly improbable to occur. On the other hand, Television shows like Satyamev Jayate attempted to commercialize this problem; however, undermined its validity in the process. In addition, media's depictions of luxurious weddings of mass media personalities, escalates the dowry system's prevalence as increasing numbers of people make an effort to emulate their ideals. Dowry system, therefore, has become a large problem in India and has resulted in practices of female infanticide skewing the gender proportion in India. In sketching this paper to a detailed, it is clear that the situation of dowry is only intensified by press. Until multimedia becomes more responsible in its depiction of the dowry system, giving aside the economic intentions, this issue will continue unabated.