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Angry Brides lob stilettos in dowry shakedown takedown

Bad boy bridegrooms battered in game against banned tradition

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Indian matchmaking service Shaadi.com has launched a new game based on the immensely popular Angry Birds that aims to highlight the unfair and illegal practice of demanding dowries in South Asian countries.

Angry Brides is hosted on Shaadi.com's Facebook pages, and features a red-clad eight-armed woman, presumably styled on the Hindu goddess Durga.

The game gets players to throw a variety of weapons at grooms with a dowry price tag of 1.5 million rupees ($29,165), knocking money off the price at each hit. Weapons include stiletto shoes, frying pans, rolling pins and broomsticks.

The money knocked off the dowry by successful hits from players is added to an Anti-Dowry Fund, which is then posted on the players' Facebook page.

The dowry was traditionally a gift from a new bride's family to her groom and his parents, meant to ensure that she could be taken care of in her new home. The practice was outlawed over 50 years ago, but still happens today and has even been twisted into a form of blackmail, where the groom and his family continue to demand money after the marriage has taken place.

When demands aren't met, the bride can be both physically and emotionally abused, or even murdered, by her husband and family.

Shaadi.com's Angry Brides game has been "Liked" by over 270,000 Facebook users. The matchmaking service said on the page that it has "always believed that marriage is an institution of love, where there is place for togetherness, mutual understanding, family values and emotional support, not for dowry".

"According to the Indian National Crime Records Bureau's 2007 statistics, India witnesses one dowry death every four hours," the page said.

"We condemn this society menace and have consistently run campaigns on social media to help create awareness on the seriousness of this issue. The Angry Brides game is our way of throwing a spotlight on the nuisance of dowry." ®

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