The fires in Kolkota have consigned two other news articles to the back pages. Two articles that caught my eye before the violence in Kolkota took over. The first article was about the wife of an NRI in the USA who was beaten up and thrown put of a running car due to the lack of dowry. The second was concerning the conviction of the accused in the Uphaar fire tragedy.
If these articles have passed you by here’s a quick read.
Dowry or groom price for the unknowns is prevalent in some cultures. I know for a fact (courtesy my classmate from Uganda) that in Uganda the grooms pay a price for their prospective brides. Often this payment was made by giving X heads of cattle. If such a practice was present in India women would not have to suffer thus. From female infanticide to husband abuse the root cause tends to be dowry or rather the lack of it.
Personally I think that a groom who demands dowry is like a prize stud bull. They do nothing and have to do nothing except reproduce and sleep. Surely he must realize that his parents are trying to sell him off to the highest bidder? Having been sold, why does he not realize that he is the property of the buyer as per the terms of a sale? So how can these studs (sic) have the cake and then go on to eat them too? If the existence and sustenance of such a groom depends on the largesse of his buyer then it implies two things that the groom is not worth the money and the bride is getting a raw deal. Coming to the story on hand the Infosys employee is making many hang their heads in shame. If a MBA graduate endured such terror in a progressive country like the US then the plight of so many more here must be horrific.
My take: Guys if you must sell yourselves become henpecked and go and stay with your buyers. If your wife has bought you then remember that she must own you. If you disagree, Good for you! Be a Man for once.
The tragedy of Uphaar is a grim reminder of the killer buildings that thrive and multiply in our corrupt and inefficient country. Those of you who are familiar with Chennai would know how potentially dangerous our shopping arcades are. If you have read the article above and if you have visited T. Nagar I’m sure the fear of death will haunt you. I have often wondered how such buildings were built with scant disregard for government rules, all my wondering ceased when The Hindu carried an article that gave a list of all the illegal buildings that have blatantly violated rules and have gone ahead with the construction. Obviously the law does not apply if you can afford to buy it. Such buyers of the law include all the big brands that regularly advertise on the TV channels.
Why are these buildings so unsafe? For starters these buildings are grotesquely ugly and they are all box like structures walled on three sides with a glass front and no windows. Note that there are absolutely no windows because there is often no place for them (as two shops often share a common wall) and also to reduce the air conditioning costs. These buildings have one main staircase, a few lifts and no fire exits. Then these buildings are multistoried and have a minimum of four floors. Lastly in many such buildings that I have visited the only safety devices I could spot are some mandatory portable extinguishers and sand buckets (used as ashtrays).Lastly I can vouch that the employees have never done a fire drill. If a fire starts in such a building can you imagine the potential catastrophe? More people will die from suffocation, stampede and fear than the fire itself because these buildings are death traps.
My take: Avoid such death traps, T.Nagar is a mess anyway. You may save a few rupees by shopping there, but your life is priceless. It may not make a difference to the offenders and lawbreakers but I’m sure that it will make a difference to you.