Back in 2011 Tanul Thakur launched a website as “a satirical comment on the existing state of dowry demand in India". His website - dowry calculator - functioned without any hitch from May 2011 to May 2018, when a prominent politician expressed discontent with his website on social media platforms and called on the then WCD minister to take action.
Subsequently, the WCD minister wrote to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) to ban the website and in September 2018, access to the site was blocked by all internet service providers (editor’s note: It was banned in India. Everywhere else in the world we are still able to determine what we are worth to some nieve unsuspecting potential piece of chattell aka a bride!)
The Delhi High Court is now seeking response from these ministries after a plea was filed by Thakur challenging the blocking of a website . Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar issued a notice to the Ministries of Electronics and Information Technology, Women and Child Development and Communication, seeking their stand on the website owner's petition, which claimed the site was blocked by government in September last year without giving him a hearing. The petitioner is seeking a quashing of the action and directions to restore access to it.
The petition claims the website was designed as an online form that visitors could fill up with options from drop-down menus, on social, educational and personal characteristics of a groom, to arrive at a "fictional dowry amount" that he could attract.
It has further claimed that the choices in drop down menus "were meant to parody societal mores across India for marital desirability, such as an emphasis on fair skin colour".
"Upon submitting the form, the site offered one of nine pre-designed fictional dowry amounts, coupled with a satirical message that ridiculed emphasis on dowry in society and how it could cause extreme financial hardship upon bride's family," the petition has said.
Tanul Thakur states that it was only through a freedom of information request that he became aware of why his site was blocked as no notice was issued to him and even the order to block the website was not communicated to him.
Mr Thakur has termed the action taken by the government "arbitrary, excessive and unconstitutional" and claimed it "unreasonably restricts his right to freedom of speech and expression and the public's right to know".
Well that's India but here in the land of the free we have no such restrictions so of course our elitist editor just had to check out his worth using the dowry calculator…
Getting there, slowly but surely. Right now, your dowry rate is 25 Lakh. If you want your dream dowry, this might not be the most optimum time for you to get married. There are times in life when we are standing on crossroad and need to take some tough decisions. You could go either way from here. Be the master of your destiny and steer it towards your dream dowry. Best of luck!
The dowry calculator domain and website are registered and hosted on Endurance International (EIG) company sites. The domain was created on 2011-05-04 using the services of FastDomain. The website is hosted on IPAGE.COM nameservers.