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article imageNew bride who dumped groom over dowry demands becomes heroine

By Katerina Nikolas     Nov 21, 2011 in World
A new bride in Bangladesh was shocked when the family of the groom demanded an illegal dowry just moments after the ceremony. Describing dowries as the "cancer of society" the bride took a principled stand against the demand and left the groom.
A Bangladeshi bride who dumped the groom just minutes after their wedding ceremony has become something of a heroine in Bangladesh, for standing up against the illegal practice of dowries. Farzana Yasmin, 27, married Shawkat Khan, 32, in what he regarded as the most auspicious moment. The wedding took place on 11.11.11. at 11:11 am.
According to Emirates 247, Khan had chosen the date so the "wedding took place at a mosque exactly at that time." He went on to add "I have been waiting for this numeric occasion for years. I did not know that it would end up so scandalously." He was left wondering why his bride had walked out on him.
Farzana Yasmin has no doubts why she walked out on her new groom right after the ceremony. Her new parents-in-law demanded a dowry even though dowries are illegal in the country. Her new family expected gifts to be provided, and the groom's aunt told her “We are going to keep this girl hanging for five years, if we don’t receive a TV and refrigerator, we won’t take her home” Siasat reported.The new bride took a stand against the practice, telling the BBC "The dowry has become a cancer of our society. I have read this in newspapers and always wondered why people should put up with it. When I found myself getting caught up with this, I thought I have to protest." Farzana was not just thinking of her situation as she said "I know I cannot change the fate of thousands of other similarly oppressed women in the country but at least I have taken a stand." Farzana is now filing for divorce and in spite of her actions leading to some calling her a loose woman she has become a heroine of Bangladesh.
Sultana Kamal of the Ask rights group told the BBC that Farzana had taken a "principled and brave stand against the gross injustice of dowry payments" and "shown considerable bravery in doing what she did to highlight the evil and oppressive dowry system." Police chief Babul Akhter said "The bride asked the groom whether he supported the illegal gift. He nodded in support, prompting the girl to disown him." Khan denies the claim.
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