Saturday, June 11, 2005

An interesting take on dowry

A very good friend of mine forwarded this today.

From the description of the book:
"The Hindu custom of dowry has long been blamed for the murder of wives and female infants in India. In this highly provocative book, Veena Oldenburg argues that these killings are neither about dowry nor reflective of an Indian culture or caste system that encourages violence against women. Rather, such killings can be traced directly to the influences of the British colonial era."

Sounded very interesting! Although the description was a little void of content for me to believe either way. The reviews are all very positive though, and are all by western historians - if that gives it more credibility for some people.

Another evil whose origin historians are tracing back to that era...

I have started thinking that maybe we blame the colonial rule too much but it was really weakness of medivial India...yeah you could blame the muslim rule for that...but somewhere our ancestors have to take the blame. Of course, given that the current "majority" of Indian psyche (if you allow me to draw such conclusions from elections 2004) is pseudo secular Macaulayists, maybe making sure this point of view is seen by more people is important.

I remember spending nights discussing such stuff with that same friend. Darn! I miss that, Suja :)