The case of Uthra should, if nothing else, pave way for the complete abolition of dowry, in all the different ‘layers’ of society, the crude people who openly ask for dowry, and also the sophisticated upper class that doesn’t openly ask but expects it nonetheless.
The case of Uthra should also lead to the abolition of the thinking that in order to live a good life, a woman has to be married off, at any cost. It is perfectly fine for a boy or girl to remain single, as long as they have an income to support themselves. There is no point in saying that if one doesn’t have children, there will be nobody to look after them in old age. It is nonsense. Better check into a retirement home and enjoy life with your peers than suffer loneliness living with your adult children.
Thirdly, all parents should know that what they need to do is not to save money and gold for their daughters’ marriage, but to use that money to give her a good education that would get her a job and financial independence. Teach her to be assertive and bold.
The fourth change should be the complete abolition of the outdated and unnatural tradition of the ‘marriage of convenience ‘ in which money, social position, religion and caste become the basis of a marriage between a man and a woman. Instead, marriage should happen when a man and a woman find affection towards each other, companionship and compatibility in each other, and genuinely want to live with each other. In order for this to happen, our society should accept that a human being is essentially an organism that looks for a spiritual and sexual companion once it comes of age. It is basic human nature. It is a natural urge to look for a partner when a child grows into a particular age. Our society should do well not to suppress that urge, and stop indoctrinating young minds that it is a sin even to talk to the opposite gender. Abolish all boys’ and all girls’ schools and colleges, and let boys and girls mix together freely.
Fifth, Uthra’s case should lead to a change in how society views divorce. A divorce should be seen as a decision arrived at by the partners in a relationship when they find themselves incompatible, when there is no respect for each other anymore. Society should view divorcees with compassion and give them moral support instead of condemning them.
Finally, stop discriminating between the boy child and the girl child in the family. Give both equal share in the family property instead of giving the girl a dowry and sending her away. Let boys and girls both carry the family name. Let children have both the mother’s and father’s names as their surname. And don’t make it mandatory to change a girl’s name or family name after marriage. The girl should carry her own family name, not her husband’s family name.
These are radical suggestions. If our society would at least start thinking along these lines, many Uthras would live to a ripe old age happily. There will be less injusice due to misogyny and patriarchy. There will still be problems, but there will be less hypcrisy and less suppression of human sexuality. It will be a more just, fair and equal society.