Shubh- Vivah
TitleShubh- Vivah
DirectorNina Sabnani
Format16mm, Vhs video, Umatic video
DescriptionThe dowry system began when gifts were given to a daughter at the time of her marriage by her father. Originally called 'streedhan' (a woman's wealth) it was given because, in India, the law forbade a woman to inherit property. Despite apparently noble intentions, traditions of this nature usually degenerate when ritualised. Today, the demand for gifts far exceeds the means of a bride's family; women are pitifully harassed when these demands cannot be met to the extent that dowry-taking has now been officially outlawed. However, society continues to indulge in the practice: it is almost an integral part of the economic system. The rich use dowries to dispose of 'illegal' moneys; the poor give more than they can afford to raise their social status. Animated from the drawings of the traditional Madhubani style, SHUBH-VIVAH examines the attitudes towards women that prevail from birth and emphasises the vital role education and economic independence play in gaining freedom for women.