Do not force the girl’s family to over-stretch themselves, urges Minister

Asking people to opt for a chai-pakora wedding and not force the girl’s family to over-stretch themselves by spending lavishly, the Union Women and Child Development Ministry is now in talks with other Ministries concerned to bring in laws/regulations to cap the spending on weddings.

According to WCD Minister Krishna Tirath, the idea is to ensure that poor families are not forced to incur debts for a daughter’s wedding. “We Indians love our weddings and there is a lot of social pressure to put up a big show which is mainly paid for by the girl’s family. The ‘show’ culture creates a huge monetary and psychological pressure on the girl’s family and puts the daughter at a disadvantage from birth. It also does not create a favourable environment for the girl child,” the Minister added.

The Minister said that the WCD will initiate talks with other Ministries concerned to bringing a cap on spending at marriages.

Ms. Tirath said: “When spending on elections can be monitored, lavish spending on weddings can be curbed and that money can be used for something more productive. There is a need to involve the general public with this proposal and impress upon them that weddings should be a family event and not an opportunity to harass the girl’s family. The proposal is primarily aimed at benefitting the lower and middle class families which are most exploited and vulnerable in this case.”

Human rights activist and Delhi High Court lawyer Vrinda Grover said: “Giving and taking dowry is a crime in India. However, the government can’t dictate how a person spends his money, especially on entertaining guests at a wedding. Though most of us agree that there is pressure on the girl’s family when it comes to organising a wedding, this sort of capping has more to do with the values and morals that we as a society follow. In fact, it is the Parliamentarians who should take a pledge to have austere weddings and that will send a much stronger message than putting a capping on the spending at weddings.”

Rupinder Kaur, who works in a publishing house, said: “It is a welcome suggestion and ideally most people of my generation would like to opt for a low-key registered marriage in the presence of close family and friends.”

More In: Delhi | Society | Metroplus