Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan began a day-long fast at his official residence, Raj Bhavan, on Wednesday morning to raise awareness about the unfairness of dowry and other forms of violence against women.
In the aftermath of the recent tragic murder of Vismaya, a young woman who was repeatedly abused by her husband in the name of dowry, Gandhian organisations are organising a ‘fast against dowry.’ At 8 am, the governor began a day-long fast that would last until 6 pm at the Raj Bhavan.
He will also visit the Gandhi Bhavan in Thycaud, where a prayer service is being arranged. The prayer service, which begins at 4.30 pm is intended to raise awareness about the dangers of giving and receiving dowry.
‘Our beloved state of Kerala was recently in the news for a tragic death due to dowry. It is sad that the spectre of dowry continues to raise its ugly head in our state which has been globally acclaimed for enviable social indicators like literacy and life expectancy. Mahatma Gandhi has said any young man who makes dowry a condition to marriage discredits his education and his country and dishonours women-hood,’ the governor stated in his message against dowry on Tuesday.
He further added, ‘The ‘Sthreepaksha Keralam’ initiative of the government of Kerala also emphasises the need to ensure the dignity of our women by saying no to dowry and related practises. Giving and taking dowry are criminal offences that attract imprisonment of up to five years. More than that, it is a grave injustice and ignominy to the dignity of women whose contributions to Kerala’s growth are widely acknowledged.’
According to our traditions, respect for women is an ideal that lifts society to heights of social welfare, he added, using words from the Upanishad.
He also asked the younger generation to speak up and say no to dowry marriages. He believes it would go a long way toward raising awareness and guaranteeing gender equality and social justice.
The governor had paid a visit to Vismaya’s home in Kollam and consoled her bereaved family members.