The New Delhi Municipal Corporation on Friday (26 March) took a positive step to stop the ancient system of the payment of dowry at weddings.
The New Delhi Municipal Corporation on Friday (26 March) took a positive step to stop the ancient system of the payment of dowry at weddings. It voted to stop the supply of electricity to married couples if it was suspected that a dowry had been given.
Meanwhile in another part of the city, five couples were married in a "dowry-less" ceremony, as the anti-dowry campaign in the country gathered momentum.
The previous day the Indian Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, had told an "anti-dowry" rally in New Delhi that the practice was a bane on Indian society. More than 200 young men and women who attended the rally, took a pledge against the system.
In the past, families have been impoverished after raising enough money, gifts or property for a dowry for a daughter's wedding.
At Friday's ceremony, which was held in the afternoon instead of the usual late evening wedding, the five couples, dressed in traditional dresses, exchanged wedding garlands.
Then followed the religious ceremony and prayers before all five couples sat around the holy fire while the Brahmin chanted verses.
SYNOPSIS: A wedding in New Delhi, India on Friday.
But this wedding is different from most. It is being held in the afternoon, which is a departure from the usual late evening ceremonies. And these brides will not be paying any dowry, the ancient system of payment by a bride and her family of a gift of money or property to her husband.
The campaign against the payment of dowries is gaining momentum in India, where families have been impoverished by the system. The New Delhi Municipal Corporation went as far as voting to stop the supply of electricity to married couples if it suspected a dowry had been given. The city will only issue light connections if the application is marked "no dowry".
The day before this ceremony more than 200 young men and women took a pledge against the system at a rally attended by the Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi. Mrs. Gandhi said the practice was a bane on Indian society.
But the system is deep-rooted in Indian society, and it could be many years before ceremonies like this are common throughout the country.