How did the dowry custom become a social evil?
Dowry was never mandatory nor demanded by the groom. Over the centuries, however, this custom became distorted as most parents started making dowry compulsory in order to maintain their prestige in society, while some greedy parents of the groom started demanding it. In this manner, a perfectly reasonable custom became a serious social problem, as many poor parents had to incure heavy debts in order to meet the dowry demands of the groom’s family. Demanding dowry in India is illegal.
This Q/A was taken from the book Hinduism: Myth and Reality written by Ajit Adhopia and published by Inderlekh Publication.