Jag Venugopal's Blog

May 23, 2011

Time: Indian Gov’t Wants To Curb Ostentatious Weddings

Filed under: Project Management — Jag @ 10:45 pm

Time magazine has an article on ostentatious Indian weddings and how the government is trying to curb them. Rayapati Sambasiva Rao, a worthy member of parliament complained of people spending $3-4 million and how the money was better handed over to charity. Another politician, a certain Kuruppassery Varkey Thomas, the Indian minister of consumer affairs, food and public distribution has gone one better, suggesting that the powers of the government be increased so it could cap the number of attendees, and have a say in the menu.

Sure, Indian weddings can be ostentatious, and the garish display of wealth can sometimes be in very bad taste. This is especially true in a poor country such as India. However, government has no business legislating morality or in this case, frugality.

Mr. Rao would do well to focus his attention on the multi-billion dollar mega scams which have occurred under his party’s watch. When robber barons and politicians don’t plunder the exchequer as they do in todays’ India, there will be plenty more money to feed the poor.

Mr. Thomas might want to turn his attention to the abysmal public distribution system (colloquially known as the ration shops). It is said that only 40% of the foodgrains that enter the system ever make it to the intended recipients, with the majority of it being pilfered along the way.

The last thing an Indian has to do is to now petition the government to approve his wedding guest list and dinner menu. On the other hand, Mr. Thomas may be on to something here — imagine the bribes that politicians and bureaucrats can extract from holding weddings hostage to governmental approval.

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