Marriage Market- 15 Lacs for Software Engineer

July 22, 2010 at 2:48 pm 9 comments

In Bihar, Jharkhand the going rate for an engineer is 15 Lacs (negotiable), in other states across North India it can even touch a crore, depending on the genetic quality ( read looks, family background, riches etc). How else should I explain this ‘shop for a groom business’ – buy within your budget concept???  

It sucks when you hear about the educated youth that still supports the dowry system or gifts as it is called because it’s a legal term. A friend of mine told me that matrimonial alliance for her sister has been fixed and the engagement date is likely to be announced after negotiations are done.

A very obvious shocked and confused expression surfaced on my face after hearing the word ‘ Negotiation’, and she coolly went on to explain, ‘ in our part of the country the word market is suffixed with marriage. The groom’s family quotes a price and bride’s side tries to bring it down if they can’t afford it. The final price is paid in cash on the day of the wedding and this doesn’t include expense that will be incurred in wedding functions. After all, good things come at cost.’

Uhh!! And her sister is okay about it because how can she go against the ‘pratha’.  The chap has no say either because it a matter of family prestige.

I wonder, are we really in 21st century? Is it really Gen’X’ that we are talking about which has moved out of small towns to study to make a successful career? They live in metros, work in MNCs and dream of settling in Umrica … But some things never change including Mentality!!!


Entry filed under: no mind thoughts!.

Moronic Verses What’s in a name?

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mayur  |  July 22, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Have you ever wondered why these things have stayed only in the north Indians states and possibly Kerela?

    Come to Maharashtra and we share the expenditure incurred in the marriage.

    • 2. delhizen  |  July 22, 2010 at 3:03 pm

      Must say Mayur, you guys live in a developed state! The evolution needs to happen in other places too

      • 3. Mayur  |  July 22, 2010 at 3:06 pm

        Oh I thought Punjab, Haryana and Delhi ARE developed states. Delhi still remains unsafe for women and now we all know what happens in the Khap punchayats in Haryana.

        You said it right, the mentality needs to change.

  • 4. Prateek  |  July 22, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Do the grooms come with a guarantee/warranty also. They should even start giving a reciept of the transaction.
    What about end season discount?
    This is pathetic. Seriously it is.

  • 5. Jaky Astik  |  July 22, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    The actual is even worse. I’ve see this practically happen. Not in my community but in some regions of north east India. And I’ve also see positive benefits of this. There are a few, but negatives are more.

    • 6. delhizen  |  July 22, 2010 at 6:38 pm

      did you say there are a few postive benefits of this??? Care to list even one?

  • 7. Karan Agrawal  |  July 23, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    “Good habits die hard!” Pun intended!

    I am strictly against such custom…though I would confess, it is an open phenomenon in our part of society also!

  • 8. Varun Yagain  |  July 28, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    I like explaining a lot of things to myself in a socio-economic framework, and this comment is no different. Lest it sound like the opposite of it let me state it categorically, *I AM AGAINST DOWRY*.

    We humans have never lived in a perfect society. Evils have always existed while a few people pick the eradication of these as their purpose. Though I am not opposed to these good intentions, I suspect they are sufficient in themselves. A black and white view isn’t the most enlightened one. The basic premise of this evil is that a society is always in a resource-crunch (part of it is greed, no doubt) and people have looked for ways to garner scarce resources for their well-being in any which way deemed essential (within morals-of-the-time mostly, bordering on immoral at other times and crossing the boundaries too at times.)

    There has been incest in Graeco-Roman period, in-breeding in Russian royalty, exchange of wealth during weddings amongst the royal families of Europe. These are resource rich stratas but at the same time resource competitive stratas of the society. And the others have followed in ways they can. Western middle-class families continue with the tradition of ‘a little help starting up’ gift for the newly married couples. The only differentiator is in the nomenclature, the civilized manner in which it is done and the apparently voluntary/non-harassing way it is done. (It won’t stop from setting expectation, mind you)

    So am I justifying dowry? I dare not. And the reasons are:
    * On the very basic level, the self-worth of both the groom and the bride are deprecated as long as they care enough to preserve it.
    * Everyone who’s had a glimpse at the burn-wards statistics in urban areas must be inhuman to ignore this fall out.
    * There’s been domestic violence, financially broke families on the women’s side.
    * Worst of all, female foeticide (see the socio-geographic correlation of the two evils?) resulting from the view that a female child is a socio-economic burden.

    So why really does it happen? Why did it come to existence at all?
    * Inheritance is intrinsically fragmenting in nature thereby further escalating the resource-crunch/ resource –competition. It is only natural that a defragmenting social force is born & nurtured. It is sad, sure. But nature needs to do the opposing-balancing all the time else social statuses degenerate.
    * Wealth in proportion to your ability (and availability of the necessary opportunities) is a new concept that only you & I are enjoying now. The *bourgeoisie* is a fortunate happenstance of our times.
    * I am treading on thin ice when I comment that the economic worth of a stay-at-home wife. Even when you assign a value to it (Very hard & insensitive, I know! Just consider economic worth of raising a child.), the most objective & detached observer will definitely note the *replaceable* nature of it. A wife is a wife but in a society, a man with land is different from a man without land. Hence, dowry becomes a form of a pre-payment for the promise (Prateek’s idea of a guarantee should be enforced, I say!) of the woman’s well-being in this state. (I might sound like a chauvinist here, but please. I am merely making the observation. I didn’t create nor do I advocate this status.)

    Where from here? From the above points, it is an optimistic assessment that the dowry should die its death as and when:
    * Accumulated wealth isn’t as important as self-acquired (or the potential to) wealth. Education & democratic opportunities are making this happen. Fortunately, enough middle-class kids are telling their parents – “Mom-dad, you’ve worked hard for your money. You enjoy the fruits now. We’ll take care of ourselves from here on”. You’ll again note the geographic correlation here. Maharastra cannot somehow be more enlightened than Punjab/Haryana but Maharastra can just have more of the employed than the farming/land-owning.
    * Along the line that women are getting empowered, have advanced skills that have direct economic significance, their worth is not and will not be suspect.
    * Awareness of the evil effects is well understood. This last point is what all the do-gooders are concentrating on, but I suspect this alone is sufficient.
    Is it all that rosy? This is what scares me:
    * Traditions die hard. Qualified, educated grooms continue to toe lines drawn yore. I hope that the understanding of the premise stated above doesn’t amount to justifying dowry but it seems to be happening all the time.
    * Dowry has come to be seen as a barometer for social worth. I am afraid that this won’t easily go. Ego needs are ever present. If dowry goes away, something else will take its place.
    * This evil cuts across social stratas (even the rich & powerful have been caught on the wrong side) and seemingly not related to how rich you are but how resource-competitive state you are in. Education, awareness and empowerment will happen eventually but the balancing of this fight for resources might go on for much longer.

    I do not chide the good intentions/methods of those fighting to eradicate this evil through awareness & legislation (Making it illegal hasn’t stopped it, has it?). I merely opine their fight isn’t a sufficient factor. More than the fight, it is the changing socio-economic conditions that *might* achieve the eradication of dowry. Whatever the way, now you & I are hoping dowry ends up eradicated right?

  • 9. Kartikay  |  August 16, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Ah, dowry. Somehow different communities have wide differences in opinion about this, as opposed to the uniform banishment of things like robbery or kidnapping.

    I mean, you would think that the opinion of different communities would be uniform, right? Look at some practices like Sati. For a majority of the population, I’m sure its not done anymore. People uniformly agree.

    But, dowry?

    Something deeper and more obnoxious is powering it. It’s not a simple “social custom” anymore. Like one of the commentors suggested, could it be ego or social status? That’s the root of the problem – and dowry is only a manifestation or symptom of that!


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