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Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan Demands Action Against Dowry Menace

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Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has emphasized the need for a societal shift in attitudes towards dowry, urging young women to reject proposals that involve dowry demands. The statement comes in the aftermath of a tragic incident involving the suicide of a post-graduate medical student, allegedly prompted by the cancellation of her marriage due to an exorbitant dowry demand.

Chief Minister Vijayan highlighted the importance of empowering young women to firmly decline proposals that include dowry requests, emphasizing that society and families should stand in support of such decisions. Addressing the media at a press conference, he expressed concern over the severity of the issue and conveyed that the government is taking the matter seriously, intending to implement suitable measures.

“If someone demands dowry, they (women) should be able to strongly reject such proposals. Society and families need to support them for that,” said Chief Minister Vijayan, stressing the need for a collective effort to combat the deeply ingrained practice of dowry.

He urged society to view instances of dowry demands seriously and acknowledged the shared responsibility of parents and families to discourage such practices. Chief Minister Vijayan underscored the importance of fostering confidence in young women, asserting that creating awareness about the wrongfulness of demanding and accepting dowry is essential for societal progress.

“The public and societal mindset needs to change. We should also be able to take strong legal measures against such practices,” added the Chief Minister, highlighting the necessity of not just altering perspectives but also implementing stringent legal actions to curb dowry-related issues.

The tragic incident that prompted these statements involved Shahana, a 26-year-old postgraduate student in the surgery department of the Government Medical College. Found unconscious in her apartment, she was later declared brought dead at the hospital. Shahana’s family alleged that she took her own life due to the immense dowry sought by the groom’s family.

In response to the allegations, the police have taken Shahana’s friend Ruwais, also a postgraduate doctor at the same college, into custody from Karunagappally. The incident has brought attention to the urgent need for a collective societal effort, legal reforms, and increased awareness to eradicate the practice of dowry and ensure the well-being and empowerment of young women.

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