The Indian society is becoming modern and advanced, no doubt about that. However, there is also no denying that while we might have the latest gadgets and tech at our disposal, the towers rising higher and higher, artificial intelligence (AI) and more becoming a part of our daily lives, there are still various areas where our society is still extremely lacking.
One of those is evident by how the practice of dowry is still very much carried out in the country despite being declared illegal by law. And it is not just the small towns or rural areas as some would like to believe, even those rich and educated coming from some of the wealthiest cities in the country still engage in it.
This was brought to light after the recent news of a Kerala doctor committing suicide after her fiance cancelled the wedding over not getting a dowry.
According to reports, the victim was a 26-year-old woman called Dr. Shahana, a postgraduate student in the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College’s Department of Surgery in Kerala.
On Tuesday, 5th December 2023, she was found unconscious in her apartment and later on, the hospital declared her as brought-dead.
Reports alleged that she was being harassed by her fiance, Dr Ruwais, and his family over the dowry they’d been demanding which led her to end her life.
The groom, Dr EA Ruwais, was a Kerala Medical Postgraduates Association (KMPGA) state committee member.
Jasim Nas, Shahana’s brother reportedly speaking with the media revealed that Ruwais and his father especially were quite insistent on getting the dowry. Even after the bride’s family said they would pay them dowry as money, the groom’s family allegedly were not satisfied and demanded 150 sovereigns of gold, 15 acres of land and a BMW car.
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Nas stated “In November, my mother and I visited their home and met his family. His father was adamant on dowry. I told them that we would give as much as we could, but they were not ready to negotiate.”
According to local media site Mathrubhumi, the brother further said “We were open to the idea of a registry marriage, but Ruwais wanted the dowry demanded by his parents. He backed out.”
Jasim also said that “Ruwais finally told her that money was more important to him, which shocked Shahana” which was extremely emotionally taxing on the victim and caused her to go into depression.
In the suicide note recovered from her apartment, one of the things mentioned was “Everyone wants money, money triumphs everything….”
The note also reportedly said that her family “does not have 1.50 kg of gold and acres of land” which were some of the demands of the dowry.
As per a report by Manorama, the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College police have taken Ruwais in custody after statements were recorded and a suicide note written by the victim was found in her apartment.
As per PTI, the police officer said ”His arrest was recorded. Sections of abetment to suicide and Dowry Prohibition Act were slapped against him.”
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