30 June 2023
DOWRY SYSTEM & SEPARATISM
My attention has been drawn to the Time Magazine article ‘The Marriage Scam That’s Left Thousands of Indian Women Broke or Abandoned’. I had the opportunity to learn about the fundaments of the dowry system through the law of Thesawalamai, applicable to Jaffna Tamils. I admired and appreciated this part of Thesawalamai law, which is a heritage law. Heritage laws when practiced with belief take care of the heritage itself. In the case of my husband’s family, it resulted in internal separation. Given that it happened through the testamentary case relating to my brother-in-law, I concluded that his spirit orchestrated the separation to protect the common Energy of the family which automatically merges with those of other families, to form Community Energy, which in turn contributes to Nationalism. Given that the Sri Lankan Tamil militants are considered ‘separatists’ the roots of this problem needs to be examined, including through the dowry system.
As with the caste system, the dowry system also is based on the diversity of labour. The caste system had the hierarchy that the secular system has, with intellectuals ranking above manual workers. The dowry system was in recognition of the risk of home-making women’s work being considered to be less valuable than the male’s work which ‘showed’ money value. The dowry was to ‘fill’ this ‘gap’ towards preventing gender based discrimination.
The dowry thus prevented unjust discrimination on gender basis. Each family unit has the responsibility to maintain the self-balancing Energy system, as an independent unit. The confirmation that this is equality of status within the family to each independent member. Others were juniors to the independent members.
When this is not maintained and the marriage becomes a trade, separation begins as between supplier and customer. The more one is conscious of money, the more divisive one becomes. The dowry is confirmation that the daughter has matured as an independent member in her birth family. This means that she is promoted to the higher stage of merging with a new family and/or becoming a mother.
As per the Times report:
‘Kaur is one of thousands of wives who have been deceived by husbands living abroad, and hoping to get justice through India’s overburdened legal system. Though official statistics are hard to come by, a 2018 petition by eight such women in India’s Supreme Court said there are more than 40,000 wives who have been deceived into marrying NRI men. India’s government has dealt with more than 6000 grievances against NRI men from 2015 to 2019’
This is also a problem in Northern Sri Lanka, where the dowry system has become a trade. The reason is serious damage to the law of Thesawalamai and is similar to jay-walking. In action we use different laws and different laws separate the community. If based on truth, the different groups meet at the destination of independent self-governing families. Otherwise they cause internal separations.
At governance level, militancy happens comfortably within a group that has internal separations. In Sri Lanka, caste continues to be a factor even today, in both Sinhalese as well as Tamil communities. When we move to multicultural areas, the sin mutates to become racism. Those who feel common in terms of caste take our positive genes with us when we move to multicultural areas. When we emigrate to other countries, we carry these sins and virtues with us. That is the real dowry or Bride-price value we take with us at the end of each major change. In turn, we develop separatism or commonness in our new environments. The husbands who cheated contribute to separatism karma in their new nations. Brides who desired unearned comforts in a new country become victims of separatists at home.