Marriage is a bond not only between two people but two families.
The erstwhile practice of simple and small weddings attended only by close relatives has ebbed away and marriages nowadays have become big commercial affairs. Weddings nowadays are more an exhibition of money and social status rather than mere celebrations marking the union of two souls. Most of the weddings are two, three or even more days of celebration with all the pomp and a huge amount of money spent on the preparations alone including the invitation cards, hall decorations and the food served for the function. A survey conducted by Madhyamam into the wedding extravagances was published as a series in the newspaper which elicited overwhelming responses from people all across the state. Their pain and silent outcries have prompted them to respond which brought to light some shocking facts about the evil practice existing in the society.
The rich spend money beyond measure to give an impression of their affluence sometimes going out of their way to make money illegally. They flaunt their money competing with each other in extravagance. But the practices they follow gradually become accepted social norms forcing the poor to follow suit and would be forgotten once the marriage was over. Marriages thus become a burden on the poor people who find tough to afford even the gold ornaments worn by the bride let alone the wedding charges. The need to save their image and reputation lands these families into huge misery and hardships sometimes selling even their house and property to pay off the debts. As far as the middle class is concerned, they pour in all the savings and earnings to conduct the wedding.
Nowadays same goes for birthday parties, anniversary celebrations and even funerals which are unnecessary. Such lavish fairytale weddings are prevalent irrespective of religions and the different strata of the society. Dowry system still exists and in places where it doesn’t, people are forced to “willingly” provide not only the gold ornaments but also branded or luxury cars or flats as a bonus. Marriage doesn’t not necessarily mean giving huge parties, luxurious food and showing off the jewelry. Social norms need not always be followed blindly. Just like dowry, wedding extravagance too should be considered as a social evil and eliminated. It is a wastage of money, resources, energy, thoughts and emotions. Religious and social organizations could surely bring about a change by creating awareness against the rising marriage extravagances which break the poor families. The bigwigs of the society should also initiate the steps for eliminating such practices by opting for a quieter wedding and abstaining from lavish wedding ceremonies. All the squandering in the name of marriage, as pure and divine a concept, should be halted.