Jammu and Kashmir bans big fat weddings, puts cap on number of guests, dishes

Official order says only 400-500 people can be invited for weddings and only 100 people can be invited for engagement functions.

Published: 21st February 2017 08:32 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st February 2017 08:41 PM   |  A+A-

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Express News Service

SRINAGAR: The PDP-BJP coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir has banned big fat weddings in the State by limiting number of guests to be invited and number of dishes to be cooked at marriage functions.

In an order issued by Secretary to J&K Government, Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Shafiq Ahmed Raina, it was stated that the department has number of complaints and representations from people regarding injudicious use of essential commodities and extravaganza expenditures being made in both public and private functions by most of the people in the State.

It stated that taking into consideration the complaints of people, it has been decided by the government to ban fat weddings in the State.

“The number of guests to be invited for the marriage of daughter (barat) and marriage of son should be restricted to a maximum of 500 and 400 people respectively. Only 100 people should be invited to attend like engagements and other small functions,” reads the official order.

As per the order, the number of vegetable and non-vegetable dishes to be cooked in marriage and other functions should be restricted to a maximum of seven each besides two stalls of sweets or fruits.

In Kashmir, wazwan, the traditional Kashmiri cuisine, is served during the marriage functions.  The wazwan is prepared by traditional local chefs, known as ‘Wazas’, who specialize in cooking the mostly mutton-based feast.

The government has said the order to restrict number of dishes and number of guests in marriage and other functions will come into effect in the State from April 1 this year.

“It should be ensured that there is no wastage of any food items uncooked or cooked during the wedding functions. If there are some surplus food items (cooked), it should not be thrown into dustbins but provided to deserving people and old age homes after properly preserving and packing,” reads the order.

It further stated that there shall be complete ban on sending dry fruits and sweet packets, etc with invitation cards by any person to relatives, friends, guests, invitees, etc.

The government has also ordered ban on use of amplifiers, loudspeakers and firecrackers during the private and official functions.

“There shall be complete ban on use of amplifiers, loud speakers, fire crackers in any government or private social functions,” reads the order adding “It will save the general public from the inconvenience of noise pollution and air pollution caused by the various gadgets.”

Nowadays, in marriage functions in Kashmir, there is a lot of noise due to use of high pitch sound amplifiers, loud speakers, decks, profuse lightning, bursting of crackers etc.

J&K Minister for Food, Civil Supplies, and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA) Choudhary Zulfkar Ali assured strict implementation of the order. “The law is same for everyone, and would be applied to all, irrespective, of his/her status in the society.”

He said keeping in view that many people have already distributed invitation cards, and have made arrangements as per the invitation, therefore, a buffer period of 40 days is given to them and the order would be applicable from April 1.

The J&K government’s decision to ban big fat weddings comes at a time when a bill (Marriages Compulsory Registration and Prevention of Wasteful Expenditure Bill, 2016) has been introduced in Lok Sabha to put a limit on the number of guests to be invited and dishes to be served in weddings to check the “show of wealth”.

The bill introduced by Congress MP from Bihar Ranjeet Ranjan, wife of MP Pappu Yadav, wants those spending above Rs 5 lakh to contribute towards marriages of poor girls.

In 2004, the then PDP-Congress coalition government had ordered the “guest control” in marriage functions. However, the order was revoked within few months.

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