No more lavish weddings; Bill in Lok Sabha

MUMBAI: If Gopal Chinayya Shetty, MP from Mumbai North can have his way, the ‘big fat Indian wedding’ may come under the ambit of the law.
He wants the government to control people’s wedding expenses as well by way of a law. Shetty has already introduced a private member bill seeking, “prevention and prohibition on the extravagant expenses incurred on marriages” across the country in the Lok Sabha on Friday.
The bill seeks “to provide for the prevention and prohibition of sheer extravagance and unlimited expenditure being incurred on marriages and related ceremonies in various parts of the country and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.”
Talking to DNA over the phone, Shetty said, “The intention behind introducing such a bill is to initiate a conversation on the subject. It might not necessarily become a law, but at least people will think about the issue when it is discussed in Lok Sabha. There are some people who spend a huge amount of money and then there are others who hardly have any money to even get married. There should be some equality on that front also.”
“In my constituency, I have been urging those who are having extravagant weddings to help a poor person get married as well, and some of them have even helped. I am not saying that those who have money should not spend, but some kind of equality should be there,” he added.
However, the rate of private member’s bill being passed in the Parliament is significantly low. As per an analysis, only 14 private member’s bills have passed since Independence.
In February 2017 too, a bill in the Lok Sabha had sought to put a limit on the number of guests to be invited and dishes to be served in weddings to check “show of wealth” and wanted those spending above Rs 5 lakh to contribute towards marriages of poor girls.
The bill introduced by Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan, wife of MP Pappu Yadav, had said that “if a family spends above Rs 5 lakh on a wedding, it has to contribute 10 percent of the amount on marriages of girls from poor families.”
“The purpose of this bill is to prohibit extravagant and wasteful expenditure on marriages and to enforce simpler solemnisation,” Ranjeet had told PTI.
The bill had sought that “if any family intends to spend more than Rs 5 lakh towards expenditure on marriage, such family shall declare the amount proposed to be spent in advance to the appropriate government and contribute 10 percent of such amount in a welfare fund which shall be established by the appropriate government to assist the poor and Below Poverty Line families for the marriage of their daughters”. (Agencies)