By: Zubair Qureshi/IANS
Srinagar: Baba Wail village located in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir is emerging as a movement not only for Kashmiris but for the others as dowry taking and giving have been banned there.
In this village, dowry is considered a crime and the marriage ceremony is performed with simplicity. If someone violates the decision not to take dowry, he is socially boycotted.
In fact, in 2004, the people here unanimously imposed a complete ban on dowry, for which a document was officially prepared. This document was signed by the elders and concerned people of the village and then a copy was also submitted to the District Development Office and Tehsil Office.
According to Maulvi Bashir Ahmad Shah, the imam of Jamia Masjid of the said village, all the villagers came together to control dowry and abolish it completely.
According to this agreement, no one will have the right to demand jewellery, television, refrigerator, clothes and other things from the bride’s family, while the bridegroom has to give Rs 50,000 to the girl’s family, out of which Rs 20,000 is “mahr”. And the remaining Rs 30,000 will be kept for the expenses of the bride.
According to Maulvi Bashir Ahmad, in this agreement, it has also been decided that if anyone violates this decision, he will be socially boycotted, he will not be allowed to worship in the village mosque and if someone in that family dies, the body will not be buried in the local cemetery. According to him, all the villagers have agreed to this decision and are following it.
Baba Vail is located at a distance of 30 km from Srinagar with a population of around 16,000. Most of the local population of Baba Wail is involved in the business of walnut cultivation and pashmina shawl weaving. The people of the village are very happy with this decision. According to them, there has not been a single incident of domestic violence in the said village due to this decision. The girls are married on time.
A local resident, named Rahim Rizwan, told IANS that because of the simplicity of the marriage ceremony by abandoning non-Islamic customs, every poor girl is able to get married now.
“Girls were not able to get married due to dowry and crossed the marriageable age while there are many parents who are indebted to raise money for dowry. That is why we want to eradicate this menace from the whole society,” he said.