This may finally be the winning mantra to cut big fat Indian weddings. And the idea comes from a woman riding a big fat bike, a Harley Davidson to be precise — none other than Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan, wife of Bihar MP Pappu Yadav.

In a big move, Ranjan’s idea is currently in the form of a bill pending in the Lok Sabha, suggesting that families cut down on lavish wedding expenditure and instead spend it to better the lives of poor girls.

A key point in the bill is to limit the number of guests to be invited and dishes that will be served in a wedding so that the expenditure doesn’t go overboard and there is no wastage.  While this news may come as a shock to many Indians, it will definitely benefit girls from poorer families. How? The bill states that if one wants to spend above Rs 5 lakh in a wedding, they should donate 10 per cent of that amount to poor girls and contribute towards their marriage.

The aim is to collect a reliable fund for poor girls’ marriages, which would be willingly donated from weddings among the rich. The welfare fund is proposed to be set up by the government.

“Great importance should be assigned to the solemnisation of marriage between two individuals. But unfortunately, these days a tendency of celebrating marriages with pomp and show and spending lavishly,” Ranjeet rued.

She added, “These days, marriages are more about showing off your wealth and as a result, poor families are under tremendous social pressure to spend more. This needs to be checked as it is not good for society at large.”

According to a PTI report, the Marriages (Compulsory Registration and Prevention of Wasteful Expenditure) Bill, 2016 may be taken up as a private member’s Bill in the upcoming Lok Sabha session.

The Bill states 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 per cent 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”.

If this bill becomes law, within 60 days, all marriages will have to be performed as per the new rules. By limiting the guests and relatives and number of dishes, it may control the unnecessary spending or prevent wastage of food items, but a big question still remains unanswered. This is certainly not government’s business of what and how much a family spends on a wedding. Such unwanted government interference in private affairs is uncalled for.

While the intention is good, such a proposal needs to be scrutinized very carefully. A mixed bag of reactions flooded social media sites.

This is clearly “forced and not willingly given” solution.

Feature Image Credit: Gravity Gate

Also Read: People Think Women are Easy Targets: Politician Jaya Jaitly

Read More Stories By Ria Das

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