FLAMING EXTREMITIES IN DINA MEHTA’S BRIDES ARE NOT FOR BURNING
In India’s gender- patterned social structure, the daughters are expected to be marry off as soon as feasible to signifya reputable family in a traditional setting, so that the Indian parents can easily boast of top reasons outof their filial obligations. Even in the current reformed social setting, a new bridefrom penury marrying into a conservative Indian family may facea startling imprint of scripted torment that will culminate in mortality. In traditional India, it is normal that the bride is conditioned to be a passive victim in order to elude adding disgrace to her family by being the “desirable Bahu”.Dina Mehta’s Brides are Not for Burning illustrates the subordination of women within the household and proclaims an anti-dowry motto in the author’s ostensibly feminist andethically humanist speech. Lakmi, a gendered subaltern who is persecuted by both her parents and her in-laws, struggles to accept the burden imposed by those who are supposed to defend and cherish her. Her demise is a misnomer as it was rather a compulsive attempt, not a natural death as her in-laws presume. The play strives to echo the essence of resistance in a dramatic form in order to undermine the aggression against females in the institution of marriage and family as a place to oblige and accomplish responsibilities. The melancholy of the family’s bereavement of their eldest daughter Laxmi consumes the very outset of the drama.
The custom of dowry has been a part of the Indian marital tradition since the prehistoric Vedic period. The Hindu mythology’s doctrinal dowry tradition, known as ‘streedhan’, implicitly recounted the phase of acquisition during the daughter’s wedding under the fragrance of crime and power politics. Dowry is the cornerstone upon which reasons for gender inequality have been established. It organizes different theoretical perspectives: colonialists emphasize the cultural origins of a benighted Hinduism, Marxist observations certify it as an economic entity, and feminists characterize it as a weapon of gender inequality.Intensified harassment towards women, such as dowry deaths and female feticide, has been ascribed to the monetary obligation that a daughter-in-law is supposed to embody. The number of dowry-related mortality rates has been skyrocketing even in the current scenario. Regardless of the overall progress in Indian women’s current position in explicit domains, the commercialization of nuptial knots and the revilement it breeds outlives the principal roots of concern. Women in India attain a longs pun approach, from being smothered in a patriarchal culture to racing in almost every sphere with men. Indian women have paraded their distinction in all realms, from space explorers to therapeutic pathfinders. However, the luxury of such legendary feminine initiation furnishes on front-page newspapers withers away almost every day as the media reports on back-page single-column dowry cases and brides burning issues. In several states, principally in the northern zone, the assaulting custom of dowry is still exercised. Dowry still exists and is occupied in India's metropolitan regions, not only by the ignorant but also by the accomplished elites.
Dowry has traditionally been correlated to the daughter-in-laws family's economic circumstances, and it has been absolutely commodified in its current nature. Today, dowry encompasses not only jewels, garments, and kitchenware, but also luxuries such as vehicles, furniture, household appliances etc. and in certain scenarios, even funds to support groom for his higher studies. The bride's families potential to compensate for the wedding relies on the amount of money and presents they get. Under certain circumstances, the value of dowry is assessed by the groom's career. Having followed the wedding, there are a myriad of rituals and ceremonies in which dowry is desired often, either in the shape of rewards or monetary value. In reality, retaining her in-laws and spouse’sluxury by pumping money from her family is a life-long burden for her. The bride is sometimes assaulted and abused if the dowry figure is not directly impacted and this misconduct could exacerbate to the extent that the husband or his family slaughters the bride, perhaps by burning her from the stove, which may document as an accidental tragedy or a suicide.