Dowry a dreadful and unethical practice. Nowadays dowry has become a part of wedding ceremonies. If we say that this is common thing among the illiterate or uneducated people, we will be wrong because educated people are also involved in this evil. Dowry is a social evil which affected our society very badly. It is the cause of our social and economic deterioration. The custom of dowry is the route of many evils. There is no religious concern with this practice, but majority of the people happily adopt it. The elite class to some extent is responsible for this tradition because, they give luxuries to their daughter that a poor man cannot afford. On the other hand, lower class of society has not enough to give dowry to their daughters. So, many of them take huge debts because of dowry. They spend the rest of their lives to pay their debts. Others do not hesitate to earn money by unfair means to meet the demand of dowry. 

Many people considered dowry as a religious obligation due to lack of knowledge. There is no concept of demanding anything in Islam without payment. 

Although in reality it is a gift of money or property made by the husband to the wife which becomes her absolute property, in our society the dowry system is not only mandated for girls but also for boys. Today we fix dowry rates for boys of different categories doctors, engineers, lecturers, business men, etc. Merit of the girl is of no value. Parents find it difficult to select a boy, well-settled in life. On the other hand, the boy accepts that girl who belongs to a well-off family, highly educated in service and earns. He also wants a girl whose parents can give hefty dowry at the time of marriage. Pakistan has a mass of social problems to tackle today yet the biggest that the country is facing is dowry. This is one of the reasons the birth of a daughter in Pakistan is regarded as a burden. 

MISBAH GULL,  

Lahore, January 11.