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Dowry Practices in Kerala: Trends, Implications, and Socio-Legal Perspectives

SPENCE, Samantha and Suresh, Naveen (2024) Dowry Practices in Kerala: Trends, Implications, and Socio-Legal Perspectives. Indian Journal of Integrated Research in Law, 4 (1). pp. 1049-1070. ISSN 2583-0538

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Abstract or description

The recent suicide of a young PG doctor in Kerala,3 allegedly due to dowry harassment by her fiancé, sparked outrage and highlighted the urgent need to address the persisting issue of dowry in the state. Despite Kerala's progressive reputation, incidents like these underscore the deep-rooted nature of dowry culture and the challenges in effectively combatting it. Whilst the response from the Chief Minister, urging women to reject dowry- seekers, and the government's swift action against the accused demonstrates a recognition of the seriousness of the issue, these measures alone are insufficient without broader systemic changes to address the root causes of dowry-related harassment and violence. According to the National Crime Records Bureau,4 there have been 192 cases of dowry-related deaths in Kerala in the past 12 years. Southern Kerala, particularly in Thiruvananthapuram, has reported the highest number of such tragic incidents. The low rate of conviction in dowry-related harassment cases, highlighted by statistics,5 reflects systemic failures in the legal system and underscores the need for stronger enforcement of anti-dowry laws. It also points to the importance of providing adequate support and protection to victims of dowry harassment, ensuring their voices are heard, and perpetrators are held accountable. This research article investigates the prevalence, trends, and socio-cultural dynamics of dowry practices in Kerala, India. Through socio-legal analysis, the article examines the impact of dowry on individuals and families, explores the underlying causes, and assesses the effectiveness of legal measures in addressing this pervasive social issue.

Item Type: Article
Faculty: School of Law, Policing and Forensics > Law
Depositing User: Samantha SPENCE
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2024 14:31
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2024 04:30

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