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‘Should limit guests, dishes’ — Congress MP wants Pakistan-like law to curb lavish weddings

Congress MP Jasbir Singh Gill says law should restrict baraat to 50 people, with same number of guests allowed from girl’s side too. Maximum of 11 dishes should be served, he adds.

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New Delhi: Congress MP Jasbir Singh Gill Wednesday called for a central law to tone down the big fat Indian wedding, suggesting a limit on the number of guests and dishes on offer.

Addressing the Lok Sabha during the zero hour, Gill said Pakistan and Afghanistan already had such laws in place. 

“Today I stand here to talk about a great social evil. There will be no expenditure of the government on this, and all of us who are sitting here and the government will get blessings from the people,” said Gill.  

“These days our weddings are so elaborate. So many people are invited. Sir, I have a menu and there are 289 food items and it costs Rs 2,500,” he added. “My request is that we should bring in such a law under which we can restrict the baraat with a gathering of 50 people. From the girl’s side too, there should be 50 people and not more than 11 dishes should be available.” 

Responding to this, Speaker Om Birla said Gill should take a lead on this as an MP, and the country will follow. 

“As a parliamentarian, why don’t you start this practice and then the country will follow,” he said.

Gill answered that he had already started doing this. But for people to follow this and get educated, there is a need to bring in a law, he said. 

Birla said “not by a law, these things happen due to our willpower”. “If all the MPs start doing this, then the country itself will follow. You lead the nation,” added Birla. 

Gill concluded his statement by noting that countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan already have such a law in place. 

In 2015, for example, the Pakistan Supreme Court directed that only one dish be served at weddings, and banned unnecessary decoration. 

Verifying social media accounts

Meanwhile, during the question hour, Congress MPs Abdul Khaliq and Manish Tewari questioned the Electronics & Information Technology (IT) Ministry to clarify its stance on not introducing authentication for social media accounts and users considering the rising pursuit of “pernicious agenda” on the platforms.

“Today, social media has been weaponised by governments, by certain political parties, non-state actors, and everybody who has a pernicious agenda in this world,” said Tewari. 

The Congress MP asked why the government was not making verification of social media accounts mandatory. 

In response, Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said the “government is interested in balancing issues related to privacy” and issues of “safety and trust” on the platform. 

“I have no opposition to this view but this is one way of approaching this problem. This is not an easy balance to achieve and we believe that this issue of mandatory verification is an issue that is at the intersection of both privacy and safety and trust,” he added. “We believe that the rules that were promulgated in February 2021 provide very effectively… cast an obligation on the intermediaries to be able to detect and identify the first originator of any criminal activity.” 

(Edited by Sunanda Ranjan)

Also Read: From ‘big fat’ to ‘small virtual’ — Covid is the time to change Indian weddings


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