Why not limit the big, fat Indian wedding?

Weddings have become more and more lavish, entailing wastage of resources like water and food

ridhima

Ridhima Kumar | January 7, 2019 | Delhi


#Delhi wedding   #marriage   #wedding   #big fat Indian wedding   #Ambani wedding  
Illustration: Ashish Asthana
Illustration: Ashish Asthana

It’s easier said than done, as the Indian weddings are just getting bigger and fatter by the day. And mind you the brash celebration is not just restricted to the business honchos who invite international pop stars to perform at their wedding, and celebrities who host week-long-intercontinental galas. If you look around, your humble-looking neighbour living on the fourth floor recently hosted a very extravagant wedding for his child. When grooms arrive in helicopters at the wedding venues, Swarovski shines everywhere, and Sabyasachi becomes a household name you need no further proof. Blame it on the consumerist culture.

Coming from Delhi, this writer has never seen a ‘simple’ wedding in her  life. The bride’s and groom’s families are usually referred as “party” like a business entity. There is always an unsaid competition to be better than the other “party” in terms of extravagance. From orchestrated dance performances to an unending guest list and from designer attires to multi-cuisine spreads, nothing can be given a miss. Even the eyes take a while to adjust to the bling.

Think

Weddings have become more and more lavish, entailing wastage of resources like water and food
. . .
The trend also makes a garish display – of widening inequalities
. . .
The supreme court has asked the Delhi government to see how to limit wastage

Moreover, the glamourisation of the supposedly intimate affair in the last decade with larger-than-life celebrations is also making the youth today lose their rationality where everyone wants to have a fairy-tale wedding.
 
So does that mean a wedding without garish display of wealth is a mere wishful thinking? Obviously, no. A practical approach is needed with a lot of courage to break the what-will-people-say syndrome.
 
If we look around there are a handful of instances to emulate. A couple had tied up with the Robin Hood army, which distributes surplus food to the needy, to cut down on criminal wastage of food at their wedding. In another case a couple cut down on their wedding expenses and donated '20,000 each to 10 farmers.
 
Recently, a heart-warming story of a groom from across the border is taking the internet by storm. The groom hosted his wedding reception, a simple function, on the terrace of his house and invited a handful of guests and paid only Pakistani Rs 20,000 for all the arrangements. Seems surreal, isn’t it? But it’s true. Being wise does no harm after all and saves some money too!
 
The government can also help in a way. Remember the demonetisation drive of 2016? Among other factors, it was also criticised for playing spoilsport during the wedding season. Due to shortage of cash in banks, a special withdrawal limit for marriage purposes (on producing the wedding card as proof) of Rs 2.5 lakh was allowed. There was much hue and cry, but it also helped in the much-needed cutting of the flab from the lavish weddings.
 
The Delhi government on its part is formulating a policy to limit the number of guests and curb food wastage at extravagant weddings in the capital, following a supreme court directive.
 
But then do we really need a policy or a law to make us realise the value of our own money? It is the mindset which needs to change. 
 
Prudence... where art thou? 
Reality Check
It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event and people earn and save money all their lives for it. In most cases societal pressure overpowers the better sense, hence the grand celebrations. A liberal would balk at the very idea of state control on something like a wedding! Also, what is wastage for one is a whole industry for another, providing jobs to hundreds per event.
ridhima@governancenow.com
(The article appears in January 15, 2019 edition)

Comments

 

Other News

On a personal note: DIVINE

An underground rapper who grew up on Mumbai streets, Divine spins his music around his environment and poverty. His breakout single, ‘Meri Gully Mein’, along with fellow rapper Naezy caught Bollywood’s attention. The Hindi film ‘Gully Boy’ is inspired by their lives and gr

The role model for an IAS officer

Anil Swarup, an IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre who retired in 2018, is a model bureaucrat who retained his optimism right till the end of service and exemplified dedication and commitment. His excitement at the opportunities that a job in the IAS provided is evident on every page of his new book publis

Reform of the civil services: At home and away

The question of reform of the civil services has been debated extensively at all levels at least over the last five to six decades after independence. Indeed, it was soon perceived that the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) may not be well equipped to deal with the problems of an emerging developing coun

The greatest challenge for any government

Shouting vengeance at all and sundry while wriggling out of holes of our own making seems to be our very special national characteristic. Some recent instances are illustrative of this attribute. A number of business tycoons with thousands of crores of unresolved debts have fled abroad with the government

The mysterious case of CBI’s legality

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) came into existence, based on a Resolution of the home ministry, dated April 1, 1963 – a sheer coincidence that it also happens to be April Fool’s day. Over the past few months, we have seen the CBI live up to its founding day with great zeal, being i

The Evolution of Modi

Gujarat was passing through a turbulent phase in the 1980s. The decade began middle class agitations against new reservation policies, and the caste friction turned communal under the watch of chief minister Madhavsinh Solanki, alienating majority of urban population on both counts. The ground was ripe for

Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter