Without any doubt, dowry is evil, but there will be no dramatic change without women put their foot down. It is the longest post I have written, one of the most bothering social evil for me, kindly be patient. I can debate for days in this subject, I have reduced as much as possible and at the same time to give right perspective of my thoughts. I hope you get my point. 1. About the origin of dowry: It is my logical conclusion, I have no proof for this. All might have started with a fair thought of sharing the parental wealth equally between sons and daughters. In our society, the wealth was accumulated as Cash->Gold>Land, and was released on the same order. Considering that agriculture was the main economy, the land was retained by the sons to continue their revenue generation work, while the daughters were given equivalent with cash and gold. The expectations that the brothers to contribute for their sisters marriage, and sons taking care of parents in their old age also evolved as part of it, which is prevailed till today. The cash and gold given to daughters as their share of property, is infamously evolved as dowry demand. 2. Intermediate and Current: Education and technology has brought new avenues of opportunities and economy. Sons and daughters started studying, education became primary individual wealth, parents were spending huge money to educate their sons and daughters, including selling-off their lands. Few people here and there voiced out irrelevance of dowry in this changed scenario, but the dowry system already gone deep in to the blood of men and women as social practice, evil or no evil. Guys with professional education and corporate jobs were valued and chased by parents of prospective daughters which fueled the demand for more cash and gold as dowry. Society, including prospective daughters, associated the worthiness of men on how much the men and their family demand as dowry, and justified such demands. Parents who already spent most of their fortune to educate their children, end up borrowing money to marry-off their daughters to meet dowry demands, and in 80% of the cases their respective brothers were end-up re-paying the dept, in addition to taking care of their parents in old age, the society norms remain unchanged. Greediness for money, life style pressure from peers and society - all together transformed the marriage from an event of joining hand with life partner into a critical economic decision for easy life. No wonder, the presumably fair system of dowry transformed into social evil, squeezing families of daughters. And daughters are there in almost every home, so every family end-up squeezing each other for more money, and started abusing if not given. The laws were enacted for equal share of properties to daughters, but the dowry system continued. Some "alert" parents, after giving huge dowry, made their daughter to sign on papers for "no claim on property", saying that their share is already given as dowry. Some greedy daughters who were married decades ago with huge dowry started filing cases against their brothers for share in their parents property. The brothers, who already shared huge dept and took care of aging parents, ended up giving the property share, forcing them to economic disadvantage compared to their sisters. A survey from IndiaToday and Nielson (couple of years old, but I don't see any downward change) says that 78% of Indian women do not find any fault in dowry system. It also says a new trend of daughters giving a list to their own parents on what are the things they want while getting married (myself witnessed this recently). It also pointed out growing list of young men who refuse to marry for dowry but looked down by the very women who oppose dowry in public. Some stupid men like me, addicted to the thoughts of great poet Subramaniya Bharathi from boyhood (if you are Tamil, you know him for sure), refused to budge ending up missing huge fortune, in addition to ridiculousness from kith and kin. I am reminded of even today about my foolishness. When I read the story of such bright and high potential young men being looked down for refusing dowry, I was really confused whether to laugh or cry. For a moment, I thought I did a big mistake for denouncing dowry. Today, it is the combination of social customs, big show off, greediness of men and women, and parental thinking that by showering money they can get anything for their daughters. It has only created more and more crooked and wicked minded men and women in the society. There were, and there are certainly exceptions - some sons and daughters refuse to marry for dowry, daughters taking care of their parents, but too little. 3. My conclusion: In all my observations for 3 decades till now (I say this with all due respect for women) I feel women are the main culprit for sustaining this dowry system, in one or other form. The survey also proves that. Women should know the value of their parental property, and demand their lawful share from their parent while refusing to marry for dowry. That will be the turning point (you know one thing, there are parent in this society who show poor face until their daughters are married to give less dowry, and show rich face to attract more dowry for their sons - sick, but true). Women should insist for their respective parental support before signing on with their life partner. Please do this, I will stand up and salute for you. As long as women point finger at men forgetting that rest of the fingers are pointing towards them, nothing significant will happen.