Claiming Adivasi society to be free from the dowry system, tribal MLAs of the ruling coalition in Orissa have defended the state's Deputy Speaker embroiled in a dowry case slapped by his daughter-in-law.
Prahallad Dora's daughter-in-law Smita Majhi, who is a non-tribal, alleged that her parents had given Rs two lakh in a bank draft in somebody else's name which later came to the deputy speaker.
However, BJD and BJP legislators of the Orissa Assembly said, as there exists no dowry system in the tribal society, Dora could not be accused of the crime.
"This is an insult to our community. All the BJD and BJP MLAs condemn it," said senior BJP MLA Droupadi Murmu.
Murmu who hailed from tribal dominated Mayurbhanj district claimed that though there are 62 categories of tribes in Orissa, there culture and tradition are similar.
Another BJP MLA Mohan Majhi, also the government deputy chief whip said, Dora's family could not accept dowry as "one who accept dowry is condemned in the society".
Dora being a politician can not afford to displease his community members who voted for him for long, Majhi said.
The Deputy Speaker, belonging to Bhumiya tribe, also dubbed the whole incident as a conspiracy against him.
"In our tribal society there is no dowry system. How can I torture the bride for dowry?" Dora told PTI.
Meanwhile, a tribal culture expert gave credence to this claim but said the custom could deviate when a tribal married a non-tribal.
The director of SC and ST Research and Training Institute Dr AB Ota said, there are no dowry system in tribal society.
However, deviations do take place when a tribal marries a non-tribal, Ota said.