Sikh Leaders Urge Worldwide End to Dowries

October 20, 2005

Source: The Calgary Herald

On October 20, 2005 The Calgary Herald reported, "The Sikh religion's ruling committee has issued a worldwide appeal asking Sikhs to stop providing dowries -- a step it hopes will halt the growing number of Indian brides being left abandoned by foreign men. The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, which maintains thousands of Sikh temples in Punjab and attends to the religious and political affairs of world Sikhism, said its action came as a direct result of a Calgary Herald-Vancouver Province investigative series. Committee spokesman Jaswinder Singh Bedi said the appeal asks Sikhs to immediately refrain from hosting lavish weddings and to stop providing dowries. Thousands of Indian women marry Non-Resident Indians -- many of whom are from Canada -- each year in hopes of a better life abroad, but many never make it. 'The mass media attention outside of India, coupled with the alarming amounts of dowries being exchanged, has led to this outcry and appeal to the public to stop,' said Bedi."