'Shameful to put a price on a girl'

What makes Parineeti Chopra angry is that people have renamed dowry as ‘gift’ so that it sounds good

New Delhi: Even though dowry is illegal in India since 1961, it is still prevalent, and actor Parineeti Chopra is shocked at how Indian families consider it a "gift".

"Everyone knows that dowry is illegal and immoral but they practice it. What makes me angry is that people have renamed it 'gift' so that it sounds good. Dowry simply means that you are putting a price on the girl and buying her."

"We call ourselves modern but then what are we doing? To look superior, we are asking the girls' families for money and luxurious things. It is the unfortunate scenario of our country," Parineeti said.

A direct outcome of the dowry menace is another crime – the practice of abducting eligible bachelors and forcing them to marry girls, mostly at gunpoint. This crime, known as "pakadwa vivah" (forced marriage), is rampant in Bihar for years. Often, such forced marriage happens because the family of the groom in question demands a hefty dowry.

Jabariya Jodi is a lighthearted drama centred on the concept of "pakadwa vivah".

"Although 'pakadwa vivah' is an anti-dowry practice, it is wrong. You cannot just kidnap someone and force them to get married. However, if there is no demand of dowry, there will be no 'pakdwa vivah'. I request people to stop putting a price on girl's life," Parineeti said, while promoting her film.

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