In 2010, 8391 dowry death cases were reported across India, meaning a bride was burned every 90 minutes, according to statistics recently released by the National Crime Records Bureau. Dowry, although banned by law in 1961 but never seriously enforced, is an ancient tradition prevalent amongst most Indian families.
With prosperity burgeoning after the early 1990s when India's state-controlled economy opened up to a free market system, this pernicious custom became more acute with greedy grooms backed by their families seeking to get rich through their hapless brides. But if a bride refused to satisfy incessant demands by her husband and in-laws for money and goods, despite having brought with her the mandatory dowry at the time of marriage, she was subjected to inhuman treatment. Thereafter, the girl was either starved, beaten or simply "jailed" inside her bridal home and denied all contact with her family. If her family either declined to pay or were unable to do so, many in-laws in connivance with their sons forced the bride into an flammable nylon sari, doused her with paraffin and set her alight, claiming she had caught fire whilst cooking.
|Roopa, whose case recently came to our notice, is one of thousands of young married girls and women in India who are victimized by their in-laws for dowry.- LINK|
|Same as above|
|Razia, 22, who was set afire allegedly by her husband for dowry at Adarshapara under khagrachhari Sadar upazila early yesterday, is seen at Khagrachhari Adunik Hospital. She was later shifted to Chittagong Medical College and Hospital. - LINK|
|VARANASI, INDIA - Utma arrived at the hospital with severe burns to 100% of her body as a result of being doused in kerosene and lit on fire — the penalty for her family's inability to pay additional dowry demands. - LINK|
|Photo credit: Ron Harmon - LINK|
|Burned bride - LINK|
|The prices of dowries have soared as a result of the new benchmarks for quality of life modern Western society has set - LINK|
|Eighteen-year-old Josna Begun's husband doused her with acid in a dispute over her dowry - LINK|