What if all of a sudden, you are told that you cannot plan your dear sister’s fairytale wedding, the one she always wanted? What if your own dream of having a lavish wedding just goes down the drain, not because of you, but because of an external and impersonal factor? Imagine the nuptial set-up getting completely changed, due to a government-imposed bill, setting expenditure limit for a wedding.
Felt a little uneasy?
What strikes our mind when we hear of the word ‘wedding’, to be more specific a big fat Indian wedding?
Instantly we picture a groom and a bride, decked up as a prince and a princess, adorning precious jewels, surrounded by bright faces wearing colorful attire, loads of bling, flowers and delicious food. Essentially a royal and an extravagant affair, and this is exactly what an Indian wedding is known worldwide for. Everyone tries to make the best out of it, for the bride and groom to be, as well as the family and the extended family.
Not more than 500 guests at Indian weddings!
A newly suggested bill, Compulsory Registration and Prevention of Wasteful Expenditure Bill, 2016 bill proposed by Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan from Supaul, Bihar, wife of MP Pappu Yadav, seeks to set a limit on the total amount of money to be spent on a wedding. The amount suggested is five lakh Indian rupees, including everything. Any amount exceeding so is taxable, which means government will levy 10 percent tax on any amount exceeding the limit, which will be used on the wedding of girls belonging to low income groups.
According to Ranjan “These days, marriages are more about showing off wealth and as a result, poor families are under tremendous social pressure to spend more. This is needed to be checked,” The bill proposes that all marriages are supposed to be registered within 60 days of formalization, and that government gets to decide the number of guests and the food to be served.
However it is interesting to note that Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan, who proposed this bill, herself had a grand wedding celebration back in1994. As per the report published in Dainik Jagran, Ranjan’s family used chartered planes, and exorbitantly expensive hotels for their and their guest’s stay.
It seems that Jammu And Kashmir has already decided to follow the suit and has declared it a law, suggesting their ‘pure and benevolent’ intent towards ‘bridging the gap between the poor and rich’.As per the order only 500 guests are allowed in a wedding and 100 in engagements with 14 dishes, seven vegetarian and seven non vegetarian.
Chances of this bill getting implemented by the central government on pretext of this being a private member’s bill, are more or less negligible but if it gets implemented, it will surely affect individuals, as well as the entire wedding industry adversely, especially on economic grounds.
“I planned each and every detail from the bachelorette to bidai in minutest details, taking care of everyone. I wanted my wedding to be a larger than life affair.Me and my fiance spent good amount of time planning all this, and it would be downright unfair if somebody from outside turns up to tell me how to do my thing. It is my money, my hard earned money and nobody other than me decides about how to spend it”, says Anamika Khatri, a bride to be.
Multiple professionals ranging from caterers, hoteliers, designers, wedding planners and photographers supposedly derive their income through this. A wedding is a collective effort made be all of these professionals in coordination with the family and friends of the people getting married. It is like a three to four day celebration which takes a lot of inputs and efforts, financially and personally.
Taking this step is surely going affect the industry and people at large. With the growth rate of 40 percent every year, wedding industry generates a lot of employment for both skilled and unskilled people. A lot of people will be unemployed and the charm or the essence of an Indian wedding, essentially what separates it from others, will get lost, hence it is potentially a very impractical decision to implement this bill.
“As long as you are a tax paying citizen of India,you should have the fundamental right of spending your hard earned money the way you want”,says Miss Lalita Raghav, of Ferns & Petals, a wedding planning company from Delhi.
“It won’t be wrong to call this an extension of the celebration of a ‘loud’ spirit, seeking some kind of spotlight. Things like this keep on happening, people do nasty things to be the talk of town”, says Sumedha Garg Jindal, another wedding planner from Delhi.
Would you agree that people who want to spend money will any way do that? That destination weddings will grow more popular, and Indian economy will suffer? Do you agree that taking a decision as personal as one’s wedding, should be a one’s own instead of an external factor trying to shove its understandings and perceptions down the throat of masses? Or do you think this is a step in the right direction, to bridge the gaps between the rich and the poor? Let us hear your views in the comments below.