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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Tuesday, November 15, 2011
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A welcome divorce

Girl responds to dowry demand on wedding day

Farzana Yasmin, who caused waves throughout the country last Friday by repudiating her husband right at the wedding after her in-laws demanded dowry, has said she wants everyone to take lessons from the incident.

“Dowry has become a cancer of society,” she told BBC Bangla Service yesterday. “I've read in newspapers about it and have always wondered why this happens.”

She called upon all to take note that girls can rise against this social menace.

“When it happened right before my eyes, something happened inside me. I felt like speaking up against it and doing something about it.”

Farzana, who recently completed her masters from Eden College, Dhaka, yesterday narrated to the BBC the details of the incident which occurred in Borguna on Friday.

“Everything was complete,” she said. “They were about to take me to the wedding car.”

She realised something was wrong while seated on the stage. “I tried to understand what it was. But as I was the bride I remained on the stage while people were taking photographs.”

Amidst the commotion, she heard her in-laws demanding “gifts”. “They said, 'Where are the gifts?' They didn't call it dowry.”

“My elder sister reacted, 'We are going to give you our girl; nothing else was promised',” said Farzana.

At one point, an aunt of her just-wed husband Shawkat Ali Khan came to her and said, “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.”

Farzana said, “I was dumbfounded! I asked my husband, who sat beside me, 'What is this?'”

He replied, “My aunt's words are my words”.

“Aunt's words are your words? What is that supposed to mean? Then it's not possible for me to remain here,” she told her husband.

“I'd rather leave than stay with people who ask for dowry at a wedding.”

Farzana left the stage and changed back into her usual clothes. Her family members and neighbours rushed to her, asking her why she had done that.

“I explained everything to them, and asked them what decision I should take,” she told the BBC.

“I said I'd rather commit suicide than go with that man, that rogue of a man.”

Although her family members, friends and neighbours found it difficult to support her decision in the beginning, they later appreciated the move.

Farzana Yasmin will soon take legal steps to file for divorce.

“I have no regrets,” she told the BBC. “Maybe I haven't changed the lives of ten people, but I want people to take the lesson that girls can do something.”

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Nation needs more from Ivy and Farzana. It is extremely rare to watch such these encouraging events lately.

: Rowshanul Khan

This is not your voices only Farzana Yasmin, this is voice of the millions. I salute you and remember the events rest of my life.

: M.Mohiuddin


  • Ejaj
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 10:17 AM GMT+06:00 (221 weeks ago)

    Brave decision by the girl that exemplifies what women should do to eliminate such cancerous phenomenon which is still going on very strongly in our all classes of society be it highly educated or not educated. The sacrifice of a girl makes right after her marriage is beyond count by the so called educated male society. Well done Farzana.

  • Anonymous
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 10:17 AM GMT+06:00 (221 weeks ago)

    Really appreciate the courage and we all should set such example.

  • Masudur Rahman
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 10:03 AM GMT+06:00 (221 weeks ago)

    We all are with you for your strong action. Hope you will find a real man and peaceful life soon.

  • M.I.Arif
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 09:51 AM GMT+06:00 (221 weeks ago)

    Farzana, what a great reply! It is a lesson for our society to remove dowry from our society. May your voice come out through all girls and make awake the sense of boys.

  • Md. Arifur Rahman
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 09:44 AM GMT+06:00 (221 weeks ago)

    I salute her for such a wonderful work. She is our Pritilata Waddedar. She would become the icon of thousands of girls and women. Every men and women should strong-stand against dowry to kickoff this sin from the society.

  • Texas Engineer
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 09:43 AM GMT+06:00 (221 weeks ago)

    The husband might be lucky to find a job as a cleaner in Kuwait that is all the Bangalee men are really good for. No one can show me a British or Swedish girl who dreams to marry a Bangladeshi guy. The girl will end up as the wife of a good western guy. We know quality women when we see them.

  • Didarul Alam
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 09:38 AM GMT+06:00 (221 weeks ago)

    We, people of civilized society, heartily & deeply are appreciating this bold decision arisen from a conscious & educated woman. The term dowry has turned into cancer & curse from a mere custom. Not only women but also men must come forward to eliminate this curse from the society. In our country, the rich people give a lot of valuable things to their daughter's bridegroom in the name of gift which encourage dowry in the mind of immoral & greedy people. We must raise our voice against it &take lesson from the bold decision of Farzana.

  • Tasmiah Rahman
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 09:31 AM GMT+06:00 (221 weeks ago)

    We talk about empowering women. This is the the first step. I congratulate Farzana Yasmin for taking such a bold step and wish her all the best in life. I think it is men who need empowering against such rouge and there should be text books and campaigns to empower men against such disgusting practices.

  • Muktadir S. Hossain
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 08:29 AM GMT+06:00 (221 weeks ago)

    This is just the beginning. For all those beggars who look for dowry, this is a warning. That guy's name and photo should be published in national dailies. Congrats Farzana. We all are with you.

  • Mayen Uddin Tazim, former Advisor, UNDP.
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 08:14 AM GMT+06:00 (221 weeks ago)

    Thanks Farzana for taking firm decision against on taking dowry which driving the society in to the dark of the pre-Arab ages. This is a good instance that Farzana had determinedly tackled for not only saving herself which also protects the society against the barbaric attitudes for taking dowry from the girls family. We all of should stand beside Fazana to help her in getting mental strength for taking legal revenge against those culprits who had tried to make miserable her entire life. It is the time in which members of the civil society should come forward to protest against the heinous and barbaric social dogma like dowry.

  • Robin, California
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 08:09 AM GMT+06:00 (221 weeks ago)

    Bravo! Do not return the wedding jewellery you received from your in-laws. They are yours to keep. Very soon, you can sell your story to a movie writer. Greetings from California.

  • Md.Mafizul Islam
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 06:30 AM GMT+06:00 (221 weeks ago)

    Farzana, no you have not changed something, you have changed a lot. You are the path finder. I believe we will find every day many many Farzana who will teach a good lesson to the greedy and we will find a society free from curse of dowry.

  • Anonymous
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 05:01 AM GMT+06:00 (221 weeks ago)

    Good job Farzana, I admire your courage and conviction.

    May Almighty Allah be on your side and hopefully you will find a real man soon. Hopefully other ladies will learn from you too.

  • Hasan
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 04:35 AM GMT+06:00 (221 weeks ago)

    We Salute Farzana. She is the type of women everybody can take lesson. I would like The Daily Star and other media to start a social campaign against dowry.

  • Manzor H. sarkar
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 04:29 AM GMT+06:00 (221 weeks ago)

    My full admiration for this girl's guts and courage and her decisive refusal to the compliance with this century-old stupid tradition or practice of dowry in our sub-continent. She fully realised what type of marriage was going to be installed. It looked like more to a sale deed rather than a bond of matrimony based on mutual trust and love. She is very intelligently identified the character of her husband and didn't want to spend her rest of life haggling constantly with the in-laws. So, she preferred to have an honorable exit, a divorce, in due time rather than entering into this miserable and uncertain marriage just to save her family image & puritan tradition.

  • Shamima Begum Shelley
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 03:03 AM GMT+06:00 (221 weeks ago)

    I hope all the girls and their families & relatives will learn from this extra ordinary events where Farzana Yasmin not only lead by an example, she has virtually upheld the virtue of all norms and practices that are wrong in a society a great deal. We congratulate her to open our eyes. It is a shame to all of those who are at the wrong side of it.

  • My Name
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 02:44 AM GMT+06:00 (221 weeks ago)

    Bravo. Well done Farzana. I think you escaped a life of suffering if you had gone through it. What greed on the husband's part.

  • Masudur Rahman
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 02:29 AM GMT+06:00 (221 weeks ago)

    An exemplary decision expressing the sound mindedness, progressive thinking and nevertheless the courage and intelligence. She deserves respect and all the best wishes. This is definitely a milestone and should be a source of courage for many others. With short note I convey my heartiest congratulation to this brave girl.

  • Ronald
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 01:56 AM GMT+06:00 (221 weeks ago)

    Well done Farzana Yasmin. I applaud you for standing up for what is right and just. We need more people like you to stand up against dowry.

  • Upfront
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 01:36 AM GMT+06:00 (221 weeks ago)

    What an amusing and tragic story of Farzan. I think the responsibility now lies with the society to help her out from this ordeal and assist in all ways to get the divorce immediately and open the opportunity to get married to a person suitable for her age and standard without any hurdle from the dowry hungers. Any follow up story would be appreciated. We wish happy and peaceful life for Farzana.

  • T. Husain
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 01:29 AM GMT+06:00 (221 weeks ago)

    I salute Farzana for her courage and self-esteem. She should be the icon and role-model of womanhood in any decent society. Ladies, protect your own respect yourself against all odds if you can and as Farzana did. Otherwise no change would occur in our society and you would remain victim of your weak mind. Please do remember that a husband is a friend first and then he should respect you as much as you would respect him. He must be a good husband, good lover and do things for you and you to him as best as you can to each others.

  • Nasirullah Mridha,USA
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 01:10 AM GMT+06:00 (221 weeks ago)

    I read in other national daily that Farzana's husband and his aunt are headmasters of their primary schools. Should I expect stringent punishment from government of two teachers who were force to give dowry to Farzana's family?

  • Zaman
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 12:56 AM GMT+06:00 (221 weeks ago)

    A very inspiring move by the young lady. The aunt of the husband demanding dowry proves that so-called women-friendly laws aren't working. We need to change the attitude of dowry-demanding women to end this practice. Imams can also help by letting people know that dowry is not allowed in Islam. In fact, Islam obligates the husband to pay a pre-arranged amount to the wife. This better women-friendly practice should be encouraged.

  • MM Hemel
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 12:42 AM GMT+06:00 (221 weeks ago)

    Salute you sister. We should stand against dowry just like you. Like you, all women in our country should learn this. And we shouldn't demand dowry at wedding. It's the identity of lower mentality.

  • Adeeb Tawseef
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 12:15 AM GMT+06:00 (221 weeks ago)

    Kudos to Farzana Yasmin. It is truly brave and honorable of her to stand up for herself and what she believed in. Hopefully the whole nation and those who still think dowry is acceptable will learn something from her. A women is a human being, not some commodity or slave you buy or sell.

  • Reaz Hassan
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 11:06 AM GMT+06:00 (221 weeks ago)

    Farzana's courageous protest against dowry, a great social scourge in South Asia, has not only earned her honors but she has glorified the womenfolk of the country as well. Her bold and brave stance against dowry menace, I hope, will be a role model for the girls of her generation. The great social injustice of gender discrimination from birth onwards must vanish, giving rise to equality. Let there be more exposure of Farzana's anti-dowry stance in the media so that others including parents and guardians take a serious note of it.

  • John, Narayanganj
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 11:24 AM GMT+06:00 (221 weeks ago)

    You are the first awesome girl who started fighting against cancer type dowry disease. I strongly support you. Please our Tv channel should support her and broadcast this message so that we can list those type of person.

  • Ashfaqur
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 11:26 AM GMT+06:00 (221 weeks ago)

    This is a very bold positive decision and sending a strong message to future dowry seeker. If we believe in equality of both sexes this system cannot be permitted.

  • Anjalina DIana Podder
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 11:38 AM GMT+06:00 (221 weeks ago)

    Farzana, I am glad that you did not go with that coward who is as filthy as some men would come. It is a big relief that a student from my college took this step. I am proud of you.

  • Younus Ali
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 12:23 PM GMT+06:00 (221 weeks ago)

    I have a daughter and had a tension in my mind that I need to be more money for her wedding as dowry, although I hate this practice and didn't take in my life. Now I have learn something that my daughter will not go back, she must protest like Farzana. Go ahead. Your move made us some lesson.





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