Dowry Burnings and its significance to our students

Dr. Munish Batra
Dr. Munish Batra

Salutations peers, this week I bring to you a story that was featured on 10 News about two weeks ago. It has to do with the Dowry Burnings that have been continuously going on in India despite the banning of such torture in 1961. *Disclaimer, some of the materials discussed is graphic.*

For those who may not know, a dowry is a type of offering given from the bride’s family to the groom. It usually does not consist of any monetary gifts, but it does however consist of family jewels, and other items of high value. Such an offering has been turned into a somewhat corrupt subject matter.

Now, the amount or worth of the goods the groom receives from the bride’s dowry is seen as a representation of the “groom’s worth”, and any less than expected is seen as an insult. In some cases the bride’s family is ridiculed and humiliated for not providing what was expected. Where the torture or burnings come into play is when the bride’s family can’t provide what was expected or does not provide the dowry even after the bride and groom’s marriage. The bride is then sometimes tortured by the groom and his family. They usually drench the bride with kerosene, and then she is lit on fire. In many cases, there are survivors of these inhumane actions, but they are permanently scarred with second or third degree burns. These cases of torture are punishable by death according to India’s law, but many cases go unreported by victims due to fear.

These events have made headlines in our news because we have an individual in our community who has done what he can to help women who have experienced such torture. Dr. Munish Batra is a prominent surgeon who has his practice in the Del Mar area. He has volunteered his time and resources to aide these affected women. Throughout his ten years of volunteering, it is estimated that he has donated over twenty million dollars worth of free plastic surgeries. Dr. Batra has donated his time and resources in order to give these women who have been victims of such horrific events a second chance at a normal life.

This should be considered an important issue to the SDSU community. The values and morals we have as a country would prevent us from ever tolerating such horrific crimes. Especially over something like the gifts grooms receive for marriage, which I find to be absurd. As six out of ten students on campus are women, this should be of great concern to our student body as a whole. We need to be more aware of what happens around the world.

To read the article in its entirety, here is the link:

Blog written by Sergio Camacho, Student Life & Leadership – Student Contributor


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