By Arpita Singh
A Lok Sabha Marriages Bill (Compulsory Registration and Prevention of Wasteful Expenditure) was introduced back in 2016 by Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan, wife of MP Pappu Yadav.
This Lok Sabha Marriages Bill, that might get picked up in Lok Sabha again, seeks to put a limit on the number of guests to be invited and dishes to be served in weddings to keep a check on any flamboyant “show of wealth”.
Like, seriously can that be done???
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The purpose of the bill is to prohibit any extravagant and wasteful expenditure on weddings, thereby ensuring simpler solemnisation of such events, Ranjeet told PTI.
The logic is this: if a family spends more than 5 lakh rupees on a wedding, it has to contribute towards marriages of poor girls. It has to contribute at least 10 percent of the amount on the marriages of the poor girls.
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“Great importance should be assigned to the solemnisation of marriage between to individuals. But unfortunately, these days tendency of celebrating marriages with pomp and show and spending lavishly growing in the country.
These days, marriages are more about showing off your wealth and as a result, the poor families are under tremendous social pressure to spend more. This is needed to be checked as it is not good for the society at large,” commented Ranjeet Ranjan.
The bill goes on to say, “If any family intends to spend more than 5 lakhs towards expenditure on marriage, such family shall declare the amount proposed to be spent in advance to appropriate government and contribute 10 per cent of such amount in a welfare fund which shall be established by the appropriate government to assist poor and Below Poverty Line (BPL) families for the marriage of their daughters”.
The Lok Sabha Marriages Bill also says that after this proposed legislation comes into force, all the marriages shall be registered within 60 days of the solemnization.
Still sure about inviting that Fufa, Chacha, or Bhateeja you never speak to?
The government may fix the limit of guests and relatives and a number of dishes to be served to the guests and relatives for solemnisation of marriage or for the reception held thereafter as it may deem necessary or expedient to prevent the wastage of food items, it adds.
With the dissolution of the 15th Lok sabha, the previous bill on the issue had lapsed. “Now steps are being taken afresh”, Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told the Lok Sabha today.
The bill poses restrictions to big fat Indian weddings but at the same time, it ensures the welfare of poor girls who cannot afford marriage.
Well, the social welfare quotient is right on the money. But will things really work out as proposed by this bill? What is the guarantee that the welfare commission won’t harass people for money?
The poor people, who end up spending entire life savings on marriages, especially on daughters, might be immensely benefitted by this scheme.
At a time when lakhs of Indians still sleep hungry every day, let’s be frank, we do waste all that Tangri Kabab and Shahi Korma without blinking an eyelash at weddings.
People try to make it a bigger deal than anything else in the world. This bill could curb food wastage at weddings.
But also hey, it is immensely impractical on some levels too. Like, have we run out things to solve in India?
Probably the MPs can sort that out over the many “Chai pe Charchas” at the Parliament.
As a believer of the spirit of marriages and a hater of wastage in weddings, I think this Lok Sabha Marriages Bill is a sound initiative by Ranjeet Ranjan and hopefully, will get passed in both the houses the right way.