Disclaimer: This post in no way approves of or condones the practice of giving or taking dowry.
We live in such times in India that we have blurred the lines between satire and reality. No wonder many fall for parody accounts on social media because the jokes are also so believable. We’ve earlier written how scientist and columnist Anand Ranganathan’s brilliant tweets have been taken for real, triggering many. Recently, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Congress leader and MP from Guna, Madhya Pradesh, fell for a satire website ‘dowry calculator‘. He took to Twitter to inform the Prime Minister and Ministry of Women and Child Development, in hopes that the website which encourages the shameful act of dowry is taken down.
Someone just brought this site to my attention. Absolutely shameful! Let me remind the developers that giving or taking dowry is illegal in India. I urge the @MinistryWCD, @PMOIndia to take immediate action against this.https://t.co/KQWBxQtd7J
— Jyotiraditya Scindia (@JM_Scindia) May 28, 2018
Unless you’ve lived under a rock, you would have come across this website years ago. But it seems Scindia hadn’t. Being a politician is a tough job, after all, it took him 16 years to ask for a government bungalow in Guna where he reportedly travels a lot for work.
One of the tell-tale signs that the website predates manufactured outrage is that the groom’s alma mater does not have Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) as an option.
As a joke, we put in details of a fictional groom in the ‘dowry calculator’.
If you had to marry him, your parents would’ve had to cough up over a crore rupees.
Unfortunately, the groom’s profession did not have an option of a politician, otherwise, we could’ve figured out market rate of politician kings, too.
Meanwhile, a lot of people corrected Scindia on his lack of abilities to detect satire.
bhai joke nhi samjhte ho kya.. Clearly our MPs are lacking basic intelligence, well, tum to Congress se ho. Kya hi kahein
— Vinayak (@Vinayak_14) May 30, 2018
A lot of men’s rights activists also turned up in his mentions to put forward cases of fake dowry allegations.
Shameful is the fact that one’s who allege giving dowry are let go scot free and ones who have allegedly taken dowry are made to run for years without proof. After failing to prove the allegations, the courts still do not take any action # falsecases
— Haan main hoon Chugalkhor (@chugalkhor1) May 29, 2018
Amusingly, Maneka Gandhi, Minister for Women and Child Development, too fell for it, and tweeted she will get it examined, but deleted the tweet later.
— Jyotiraditya Scindia (@JM_Scindia) May 29, 2018
This also shows how the problem of dowry is deep rooted in our society, even 70 years after independence, there are dowry-related deaths. So while dowry is no laughing matter, one only hopes the politicians verify facts and do not resort to fear mongering.