On the very next day we get news that the father of the boy has called the girl to ask what her fathers job is and to how much money will be given by them as dowry.
It works out that the boy’s family is quite rich, the dad is a civil engineer and they have cars and maybe three houses.
So it’s off. There is a mismatch on wealth and occupation. Quite why this wasn’t sorted by the broker before they even met, who knows.
So mum is a bit sad, daughter says she doesn’t care, even if she doesn’t ever get married.
So the apple cart is upset. This must be a very stressful situation. The individuals involved must feel the rejection very personally and familially.
So whilst it might be illegal, dowry is still a BIG issue. I think it’s just one of the ways that suitability and comparability is clarified. It’s a short cut. Back in England in the upper classes, the man would approach a woman’s father to ask for her hand in marriage. Their suitability would also be determined maybe by their wealth, and income but above all by class. Is this really much different?
In life, in India, caste is incredibly significant. It not only reflects one’s position in life and how one will be treated by others, it will affect life chances and experiences. And as we’ve seen with this example, even caste alone is not good enough to determine someone’s suitability.
In my view it’s one of the most corrosive things in Indian life.