Published: 15th July 2021
Kerala Governor asks VCs to get anti-dowry bond from students after spate of dowry deaths in state
"Dowry is an evil prevalent in all parts of the country. Awareness programmes like this would be a support to the government and police," he said.
Sending a strong message against the practice of dowry in Kerala society, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Wednesday observed a 10-hour fast to create awareness about the menace and suggested that university vice-chancellors demand an anti-dowry bond from degree students. Speaking after the fast, Khan said there was nothing political in his action. He began his fast at 8am in Raj Bhavan and concluded it with a prayer at the Gandhi Bhavan.
He said prominent political leaders supported his decision. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan responded creatively. "Dowry is an evil prevalent in all parts of the country. Awareness programmes like this would be a support to the government and police," he said. "The students should take a pledge not to demand or give dowry. Degree certificates of those violating the bond shall be cancelled," he suggested.
He broke the fast by drinking a glass of lime juice handed to him by a Class X student Gouri.
Last month, Khan had visited the parents of Vismaya, the woman who died by suicide allegedly due to dowry harassment. Last Friday, the Kerala High Court, taking up a petition filed by educationist Indira Rajan of Perumbavoor, directed the state government to inform the court about the steps taken by it from 2004 for the effective implementation of the Kerala Dowry Prohibition Act.
In a video message on Tuesday, the governor said it was “sad that the spectre of dowry continues to raise its ugly head in our state which has been globally acclaimed for enviable social indicators like literacy and life expectancy”. Mahatma Gandhi had said any young man, who makes dowry a condition to marriage, discredits his education and his country and dishonours womanhood.
“The Sthree Paksha Keralam initiative of the Kerala government also emphasises the need to ensure the dignity of our women by saying no to dowry and related practices. Giving and taking dowry are criminal offences which attract imprisonment of up to five years. More than that, it is a grave injustice and ignominy to the dignity of women whose contribution to Kerala’s growth are widely acknowledged,” Khan said.“Let’s make Kerala a true god’s own land where girls and boys come forward to boldly say no to a marriage that involves dowry. It would go a long way in creating greater awareness and ensuring gender equality and social justice,” he said.