Oh, the delicious irony of a Bill in the Lok Sabha introduced by Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan, wife of controversial Bihar MP Pappu Yadav (who is more famous for his alleged criminal past)!
The private member's Bill — the Marriages (Compulsory Registration and Prevention of Wasteful Expenditure) Bill, 2016 — seeks to put an end to big fat Indian weddings.
According to the provisions of the Bill, if a family wants to spend above Rs 5 lakh on a wedding, it must inform the government in advance and contribute 10 per cent of the amount to a welfare fund to assist poor parents in getting their daughters married (yes, not to educate or empower the girls).
|Photo for representational purpose.|
"The purpose of the Bill is to prohibit extravagant and wasteful expenditure on marriages and to enforce simpler solemnisation," Ranjan to PTI. Phew!
Sorry Dear MP, I beg to differ and feel this is nothing but pure bunkum. As a tax-paying and law-abiding citizen, I want to say that no one has the right to dictate how I spend my money and on what.
Read my lips — legitimate wealth is not bad. The state has no business interfering in my private life. I hope you remember the rights provided to the citizens in a democracy (or are we living under a dictatorship already)?
Also, let me assure you that most right-thinking Indians do not support ostentatious and stomach-churning vulgar display of wealth (the two easily identifiable traits of our politicians), especially during weddings.
While you are perched astride your high horse (read Harley Davidson. Yes, she is the same MP who rode a Harley Davidson to Parliament last year on Women’s Day) let me tell you that freedom, no doubt, comes with responsibilty, but our capacity to make the right choices and to take responsibility for our actions comes with education and cultivation of judgement — just as it needs to be nurtured by limiting the authority of the state.
If you think ostentatious weddings are causing more harm than good, please look for other means to tackle this. Your Bill is plain authoritarian. So, please control your "Robin Hood" impulses and keep the state out of our personal business.
Your intentions may be good, but not the action.