1. IF the girls parents fear that their daughter won't get married, if they do not give Dowry, THEN I would say that there is something wrong in the Girl. A girl who is competent enough for marriage purposes can be married off without the component of Dowry.
2. After-marriage Harrassment or marriage break-up or bride-burning or whatever, has got nothing to do with marriage or dowry or 498A. All this things happen even if you have paid / received dowry. Things that are destined, would happen come what-may or what-ever-wise. It would be further wise for the "parents" to NOT to pretend to be God, and keep tracking the girl or the boy's life and their affairs.
3. IT would be thousand times worth while to wait for an "ideal man" for the daughter, THEN to marry off the daughter by bribe'ing the prospective hero-type high-fly Boy, who might be the "don" of his area or may be the one who would be looking for bride for burning.
4. OFF-Course, there are community marriages, where the "fear-ful" parents could opt to get their daughter married off, without paying anything and on the contrary the NGO who organises such marriages, even pay/give gifts to the girls/boys.
5. FURTHER, OFF-Course, the other option for the parents (God'fathers), is to SAFELY retain the daughter at home either by keeping her un-married or by keeping an in-house bride-groom.
6. GIVING Dowry, is a punishable crime, BUT giving frequent Gift's to their daughter (and not to their son-in-law) is NOT a punishable crime. The parents can make several Gift Deeds (registered deeds) and give "what-so-ever" that they want as a Gift to their daughter. Such registered Gifts would qualify as "Stree-Dhan", in the eyes of law, for future inheritance references.
7. Giving "money etc.." to a third-party (eg.son-in-law) may be construed as "Dowry" in the eyes of law. BUT giving "money etc..." to own party (daughter) CANNOT be construed as "Dowry" in the eyes of law. IT CAN BE "ONLY" classified as GIFT or Stree-Dhan, if it is given in the "NAME" of the daughter.
8. HERE, the boy & family, can easily claim that they never accepted or rejected the Gift alias Dowry, since Gift is in the name of the girl, and the boy does not have any right to restrict his wife from accepting gifts from her own family or relatives.
9. Dowry is classifed as "demand or silent extortion or silent threat", which is punishable under IPC. B U T "Gift" is classifed as "voluntary or out of affection or emotional compulsion", which is not classified for punishment under ANY law.
10. IF it can be proved (using documentary evidence) that the Girls parents had "N I L" capacity to "beg, borrow or steal" and/or had no financial capacity to pay "Dowry or Gift", THEN ALL ALLEGATIONS OF DOWRY OR GIFT CANNOT BE MAINTAINED IN LAW.
11. There are several Girls (of such fearful parents), who run away from home and stay in other cities. Some of them enjoy becoming "call-girls" or "dance-bar waiteress" and some other girls deliberately ditch their parents for "Show-Shaw" bikini-clad life and few of them abandon their parents to run-away and marry their lovers and start a "live-in relationship" with other types of men or girls.
I THINK THE PARENTS, BETTER BE "MORE" FEARFUL ABOUT ALL THE ABOVE, THEN CULTIVATE "UN-FOUNDED" FEARS ABOUT DOWRY ETC...
12. Parents my also consider, that our Indian customs, traditions and ancient sayings, have always mentioned that "girls are the root-cause of all problems". Majority of the times, the bride-groom is destroyed physically / mentally / socially / monetarily, by such girls who pretend to be parents PET, even after marriage and always are looking for unwarranted sympathy from both family's and on failure resort to 498A and/ or running away among other things.
Cuurent generation of Girls, further consider their husband's house as a Free Paying Guest-house, wherein they can hop in and out, with divources and re-marriages AND to attain this, the Girls resort to a spectrum of allegations.
BTW, THERE are several other legal ways pertaining to Dowry "taking or giving", which can be justified for legal purposes. As far as "moral or social" purposes/thoughts & aggression towards dowry are concerned, I think it better be flushed down the sewage drain, unless the dowry issue is used to garner "Attention" by people suffering from "Attention Deficit Disorder (A.D.D.)", which is usually the case by such anti-dowry individuals / organisations.
COMMON QUOTE : "When there is Will, there is a Way".
Uncommon Quote : "When there is a Way, there should be a capacity"
Unusual Fact : "When there is no will, BUT there is capacity, THEN there is always a Way"
Keep Smiling .... Hemant Agarwal