PATNA – In a social revolution against old social habits, more than 800 Muslim families from the East Indian state of Jharkhand have returned dowry to brides’ families following a massive campaign against the practice.
“The success of our campaign is just astounding. Villages after villages are joining the campaign, and the people lining up to return dowry while expressing regret for their act,” social activist Haji Mumtaz Ali, who launched told the media media today, told Gulf News on Wednesday, March 1.
The campaign was initially limited to the Palamu district of Jharkhand, but now it has spread to neighboring districts, with dowry emerging as a major social evil.
The incident is the first time families return dowries after receiving it.
Ali was startled at the massive success of the campaign, which he started on April 24, 2016, alarmed at the social evil plaguing the lives of thousands of Muslim families settled in Jharkhand from where he belongs.
“I had not expected my campaign will such huge support of the villagers. This is a welcome change in the society. What is more pleasing [is], the marriages are now being solemnised without any exchange of money,” he added.
Many villagers vowed not to accept dowry in the future. Salim Ansari is one of them.
“I feel proud to say that what I had done in the past was wrong but am correcting it by returning the dowry to my daughter-in-law’s family,” Ansari told media.
Social scientists have described it as unparalleled movement.
“No doubt the villagers committed wrong by seeking dowry but their act of returning dowry and tendering apology for their act is simply exceptional,” said Sachindra Narayan, a prominent Patna-based social scientist.