Goodness Gracious Great Balls of Matrimony

Goodness Gracious Great Balls of Matrimony - Goodness...

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Goodness Gracious Great Balls of Matrimony An Expletory Essay By Tosh Lloyd (260358288) Prof: Don Taylor
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In India a strange phenomenon is occurring. Every year an increasing number of married women are being murdered. Women are usually burned to death in their marital homes by their mother in laws or husbands. These tragedies have been occurring for years now, but only recently has it changed from common domestic abuse to a new kind of evil charmingly referred to as “bride burning”. Bride burning or dowry death is the deliberate murder of a married woman for reasons of dissatisfaction with the monetary gains that go along with an Indian wedding (dowry). Put very simply, wives are being killed because their husbands and mother in laws are not happy with the amount of money that said wife brings to the table in the marriage. In the late 1970’s dowry death was attributed to mental illness by social psychologists because of its rarity but today we see that it is neither rare nor caused by any illness of the mind. It is an issue of negative implicit attitudes towards women. Before one can delve deeper into the issue of bride burning the Indian culture must first be looked at. In India newly married Hindi women are subject to a system of inheritance known as the Mitakshara. The Mitakshara is a legal
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treatise on inheritance , written by Vijnaneshwara in the 12th century (Rajan,1980). It became one of the most influential texts in Hindu law, and its principles regarding property distribution, property rights, and succession are still in practice across most of India . In pertinence to marital inheritance, all possessions inherited by the female party are to be turned over to the male party. This translates into an agreement between the bride and the groom’s parents over how much the wife is worth. According to traditional Hindi law all of the woman’s possessions are to be turned over to the husband and his family upon marriage, as well as an additional sum that was agreed upon prior to the wedding (dowry). This ancient law in essence makes marriage a financial transaction for the groom’s family. Under specific circumstances this transaction can be dangerous. But can one predict when an otherwise glorious occasion has potential to become a threat to the well being of an innocent woman? It has been proposed that the socio-economic situation of husbands and mother in laws can be an accurate predictor of violent acts towards wives. But this hypothesis falls short with a quick look at the recorded data. 53% of families belonged to the middle-middle class (with an income between Rs. 2,000-5,000). The majority of these cases are coming from Northern agrarian India where the population is middle class and educated (in relation to the rest of India’s populous) [Ahuja, 1998]. It is shown that most of these cases are not sprouting from economic need. In 56% of cases the victims were between the ages of 22-25. The
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mean age of victims is 22.7 years. 79% of victims were married before their 21
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Goodness Gracious Great Balls of Matrimony - Goodness...

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