Monday, June 21, 2010

An Open Letter: Shame on You


I am Ravi Kumar and I had the misfortune of visiting your house with regards to my sister's marriage proposal yesterday.

I am writing this e-mail to hopefully make you realise of the kind of huge blot and shame you are for the society.

You had sent us a neatly prepared bio-data for your son, which said you wanted, " a good educated family background". Today I will teach you what a "good educated family" can do when they meet such disgusting people with criminal mindset.

We too had mentioned that we are looking for a family with integrity, but you either did not understand what integrity means or comfortably choose to avoid that.

First let me remind you of the crime you committed and be categorical on your statements made:

  • You demanded shamelessly should I say, cash worth of 10 lakhs, a 4 wheeler, gold worth 1.5 lakh; furniture etc ; as if you and your family are crippled for the rest of you life.
  • You also stated some ridicolous conditions like for every lakh of cash paid, you would gift a tola of gold to my sister as if the gold was going out of your house.
  • What put me in utter disbelief is the statement you made just before dowry discussions began. When my father asked your expectations you said, "you show us your cards first and then we will show our cards". This was sickening. Your statement in no way demonstrated that you are going to engage in an eternal and pious matrimonial alliance. Your words were stinking of gambling match.
  • You also said that you incurred heavy expenses in your sons education especially when he was staying away from home. I never knew you were waiting for this day to recover your losses through your daughter in law.
  • You also said to my parents that they too have a son. And so have a scope to earn in dowry as well. I will invite you to my marriage for you to see how much dowry would I accept.
  • You said you have many other parties willing to offer you much more than what you asked us. This shows your insensitivity towards this alliance and our family.
It is shameful that you yourself are in a respectful position in a reputed Navratna organization, NALCO.

How on earth did you assume that a "good educated family background" would heed to this nonsense. My whole family was seething in anger. But anger is not enough for a "good educated family". The anger should be followed with action so that next time you dont dare invite a "good educated family" for an alliance.

We have been taught that giving or asking dowry is a criminal offence under IPC 498A. I hope you too are aware of it.

You mentioned your bridal requirement as : slim, fair and good looking. Who do you think you are and what makes you think you deserve the best in the world. And why do you think you can make any condescending demands. Your son is only a software engineer, an instance of a new wave of high paying white color labourers. And also as if your son is a sleek pack of God sent alpha male. I wouldnt want to make any personal remarks against him because you tactfully asked him to leave the discussion when it actually mattered. So, I am not sure if he is party to this crime.

My sister too is an engineer from the same college that your son passed out from. And she too is pursuing her MBA just as your son.

You also raised numerous questions on the credibility of a HR professional. My only point is why on earth did you waste so much of our time, money and effort on discussing all that when the sole criterion of your consideration was MONEY.

What I can't believe is you yourself are in a reputed public organization.
Me and my sister are launching an anti dowry campaign on a national scale. And I am involving Dewanga Association(our community) to be a part of this campaign.

Now be ready to face the consequence.

The day you feel sorry for your actions, let us know. We will try to save you from this ignominy.


Dear friends,

I am a first hand witness to this dastardly act of dowry demand. And my education and value system would be worthless if I would just be a silent victim to this crime. What turned out a revelation for me is that this practice is rampant within modern educated families in cities. Forget what is happening in villages.
I am angry not just with this family but with every family that commits this crime. Why do you think in India, there is so much of disparity in male/female sex ratio? It is because female infanticide is rampant in all bloody clinics in cities, right under our nose. I have a friend who is a doctor and she was emotionally blackmailed to deliver a girl child, when medical science clearly proves that a woman has no role to play in the deciding the sex of child.

We have just started a facebook community and purchasing a domain for a website. The plan is to record people's complains about any dowry demands across the country in facebook/website. We would then publish the address of the culprit in this domain with a fair verification process.

People going though the address can then send torn chappals to that address.

I hope with this fear and embarrassment there will be a drop in dowry cases. I feel this is more effective that legal and police cases. This would be a movement/revolution by the people. Please participate in the campaign by filling up the form below:

Registered people till now:

  1. Sunayana Bangalore
  2. Anshuman Swain Auckland, NZ
  3. Shanthi S Bangalore
  4. Amit M Bangalore
  5. Dr J Swain Secunderabad
  6. Spandan Mishra Bhubaneswar
  7. Uttiya Das Bangalore
  8. Oishik Bagchi Gandhinagar
  9. Rohith Ganguly Ananthapur
  10. Swati Bhubaneswar
  11. Dinesh Sahu Bhubaneswar
  12. Naveen Bangalore
  13. Nivedita Bishwal Melbourne,Australia
  14. yash Auckland,NZ
  15. isha gwalior
  16. Ruchi Mumbai
  17. Mayuresh K Bangalore
  18. Jishnu Thrissur
  19. Naveen Gwalior
  20. Anwesa Bhubaneswar
  21. gopesh AHMEDABAD
  22. Sruthi Haripad
  23. Aghoshlal Nakulan Kollam,Kerala
  24. Varsha Hyderabad
  25. Thryza Dow Mumbai
  26. Madhukar BR Bangalore
  27. Ramkumar P Salem
  28. Swetansu Mohapatra Goa
  29. Varrun Ramani Chennai
  30. satabdee biswal hyderabad
  31. Shweta Hyderabad
  32. Preeti Pooja Bhubaneswar
  33. Aditya Mani Jha Ranchi
  34. akash salim trivandrum
  35. Midhunlal G Kannur, Kerala
  36. Bijoy Prakash Mumbai
  37. Jazarine Calicut
  38. Kasturi Baral Cuttack
  39. Sarada rivandrum
  40. Vasundhara Bangalore
  41. Krishnakumar D Coimbatore
  42. pria chennai
  43. Biji Bangalore
  44. Deepa Dutt Bangalore
  45. Ranjan Kumar das Bangalore
  46. Divya Thrissur
  47. Nivedita Hyderabad
  48. Kuntal Sen Kolkata
  49. Lawrence Aloysius Thrissur, Kerala


Smile Monday, June 21, 2010 12:13:00 PM  

first of all bravo!! needless to say u have done the right thing by not taking his son's hand in marriage with your sister but using the same hand to slap him on his face... i cant imagine that a software engineer's family can still be such narrow minded and stupid... education is supposed to make us able to decide what's right and whats wrong.. and even one educated man in a family can change the mind of everyone..i m shocked to see that the so called groom-to-be didnt even have any discussion about this with his family and if he did and supported them then shame on him!! i feel bad for the girl who ends up marrying him... and as far as that campaign is concerned i m with u guys!!

Mayuresh Monday, June 21, 2010 12:34:00 PM  

Hey Ravi,

Good decision..Me and my family with you!!

Garima Monday, June 21, 2010 1:35:00 PM  

Well Done Ravi!!
My respect for you has gone 2 notches up after reading the blog and knowing that there is one more person who can dare stand against Dowry. May the family face the consequences for not abiding the law and being a shame to the educated society.
keep us informed.

Garima Monday, June 21, 2010 1:44:00 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kiran Nair,  Monday, June 21, 2010 4:02:00 PM  

Well, read your blog and I'm quite in agreement with the points you actually put forth. N now, in your words, lets put this drive into action! On my part I have shared this blog with everyone I know! Let this be a small contribution from me to a greater cause in trying to root out this disgusting evil from our society and in which even "Good Educated Families" fall prey to.

chandan something change Monday, June 21, 2010 10:41:00 PM  

Good decision.......
And i m also with you.
but one small question
how can you stop this because more of the indian minds are going with the dowry demand.

Amit M,  Tuesday, June 22, 2010 12:24:00 AM  

Proud that I know you Ravi man!

Anonymous,  Tuesday, June 22, 2010 2:33:00 AM  

I think its difficult to prove the crime under 498A as your sister is not yet married or living together with that(coward)man. Do get in touch for more info.

Oishik Bagchi

Anonymous,  Tuesday, June 22, 2010 10:31:00 AM  

Hi Ravi,

It is heartening to see a brother taking such a bold initiative. I sincerely wish that your initiative goes a long way in making some fundamental changes in our society.

I would also like to share my view point on this. Though I haven't gone through an incident of this sort, I am trying to understand the reasons and cause for this.

In the circle of relatives and families that I know of here, I haven't yet found someone so eager for getting money rather than getting his son married to a well educated girl. But, when I dig deeper, I find a much harsher reality. Right from the amount spend on a girls education when compared to a boy's, there is a lot of weighing and balancing that goes on in a family. And there comes the role of "recovering the cost !!".

Right from a boy's education, to every expenditure incurred on him are all put on a balance sheet which is then compensated when he marries a girl.

That is really sad. Marriage must become a system in which two people understands each other for the rest of their lives - which is far beyond the control of 10 lacs and 1 lac of gold. To make a real change will require patience and continued effort. I hope more people understands your rage and anger. I also wish you and your sister all the best in life, and let not these petty "non-human" creatures affect the bright and energetic future that you are going to enjoy.

Varrun Tuesday, June 22, 2010 10:34:00 PM  

More details on the IPC act

Though While reading more on 498a, I came across this too

I am really confused now.

bijoy3d Wednesday, June 23, 2010 2:20:00 AM  

Great work yaar.. I have done my best.. tweeted it to as many people as possible.. I hope this guy gets enough publicity that he wont even think of dowry in his dreams again.. we really need to do stuff like this to eradicate this from our society...

Sarath Gopeenathan,  Monday, July 05, 2010 3:01:00 AM  

Hats off to u Ravi.. U hv taken the right step.As u said, If u were a Silent victim for the social evil, education that we had wud be worthless...

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born idiot Saturday, July 31, 2010 9:01:00 AM  

i am completely with you on the dowry issue and it's an evil which should be weeded out from the society...but i should say i am utterly disappointed with the way you call the software engineers 'a new wave of high paying white color laborer' and then chose to launch a personal attack on the (supposed) bridegroom...i mean on one hand you are doing a great service by putting up a fight against dowry and on the other hand you behave like an racist which is an equally dreadful thing to do and punishable by law...i sincerely hope that it was an act committed in anger and shall be rectified soon (and btw i am not a software engineer)

Ravi Kumar Saturday, July 31, 2010 9:06:00 AM  

Mr born idiot,

Sorry you did not leave your name. I am a software engineer by profession. And I stick to my words. These days parents think they have struck gold when they see their children become software enginners. I just wanted to say that software engineers being paid well is a sign of a good time. Others professions which have more imp skill arent paid as well. We are plain lucky.

born idiot Saturday, July 31, 2010 9:08:00 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
born idiot Saturday, July 31, 2010 9:45:00 AM  

What parents think when their son/daughter becomes a SE, should not dictate our views about the profession. As far as I am concerned I give respect to all the professions (which involve an honest day's work). You are free to differ and must have your own compulsions...i still think that the description of an SE that you provided is not befitting of a person who i presume (from your profile) is highly educated...about the point that they are paid too much, I have personally seen many friends from IITs and top NITs thrown out of companies and left jobless in late 2009 and early 2010. I think the better pay comes with more risk which should be acceptable. And if you still think they are paid shamelessly huge salaries think about investment bankers and consultants (from the 'big Four'). It is simply a case of demand and supply and how much money are you able to earn for the firm you work for.
I am sorry to digress from the core issue though. You have my whole hearted support against dowry.

Prasanna Seshadri Monday, August 09, 2010 3:01:00 AM  

Great post, need courage to come up with such ideas and I am happy for you, your sister with an MBA should also have a great future and let her know that she's second to none.

Girish Mahadevan Friday, October 01, 2010 5:46:00 AM  

well done, reminds me of KARMA discussion from lunch.

They r gonna be so damn sorry for their actions.

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