All that trouble to save wedding expenses?

Legalised religious fundamentalism

Pakistan’s Supreme Court, best known as an exponent of the doctrine of necessity, has struck down a provincial government law that allowed one dish to be served to at most 300 guests at weddings. Henceforth, wedding guests in Pakistan will not be served much more than a hot or cold drink. While it is questionable whether criminalising wedding feasts can solve such social problems as forced dowry, and whether extravagance is enough of a problem for the state to intervene, the court nevertheless endorsed huge intrusions into personal freedoms.

“It is the duty of the state to take steps to encourage the celebration of marriages in simple and informal ways, such as the performance of a nikah in the mosque of the locality,” the court judged.

Condemning the custom of dowry, the court said the lower and middle classes were being crushed under the evils of extravagance and ostentatious displays of wealth.

“It must stop. Functions celebrated on the eve of a marriage such as mayun, mehndi, rasm-e-hina, baraat and even the custom of giving large dowries have Hindu origins and have nothing to do with the Islamic concept of marriage,” it added.

Muslims of the subcontinent had sacrificed a lot to form an independent state in which they could live in accordance with Islamic teachings, the court said. [Daily Times]

Amardeep Singh sums it up well when he writes

Pakistan is perilously close to banning enjoyment itself because of its possible contamination by Hindu “culture”…

But what else is freedom but the right to be as frivolous as one wants?[No False Medicine]

Update:The Daily Times calls the court’s decision a philosophical black hole while the News calls for a campaign to implement the court’s ruling.

Over the years, negative trends of exhibitionism and conspicuous consumption have come to the fore in the Pakistani society. Copying the wealthy and the rich, the middle class and even the poorer sections of the society had to adopt these negative customs. In the last three decades, the display of ceremonies of mayun, mehndi and baarat, apart from new ways of merry-making, singing and illuminations, have entrapped the entire society mentally into the net of Hindu customs and practices. It is in the interest of all that the latest decision of the Supreme Court should not only be fully and effectively implemented but a countrywide campaign be launched till such time as the marriage ceremonies become simple. In this campaign, political and religious organisations and social institutions should play a vital role that can ultimately bring an end to evil practices that arise as a result of ostentation, pomp and show.[The News/Jang]

4 thoughts on “All that trouble to save wedding expenses?”

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  2. In a country, where a common man doesnt have Clean Drinking water, Education, Shelter, Medical facilities, our Government has been busy in such UNIMPORTANT matters like banning food on weddings.I agree that the purpose is to eliminate extravagances to help the poor man,but i ask you does the poor man serve food at his home or at a grand hotel?at his home if he can afford that right?our law excludes the serving of food at home anyway.Then i ask you what purpose is it serving then?apart from increasing unemployment of all the industries involved like poultry,wheat,rice,milk,caterers and around 100 waiters and cooks per hotel….If the government was really serious in curbing ostentation, it should have implemented several other complementary strategies at the individual, family, or school level.For instance, there could be school-based programmes that teach young people how to resist social pressures to have lavish weddings.

    The target should not only be lavish wedding meals, but also lavish clothes, jewellery, makeup, dowry, etc. Similar programmes and advertisements about curbing such ostentation should also have been aired over the electronic media.

    Also if the government wants to impose a law it should do so to every hotel irrespective of whether it is 3 star or 5 star. On 15 May — two weeks after issuing a warning to 42 hotels in the capital about violating the meals ban — only three hotels were reportedly raided, whereas it is known that many other hotels also did not heed the warning and were still serving food at marriage functions. In one hotel on Club Road which was not raided, a four-dish meal together with several salads and sweet dishes were being served at a wedding function there on 15 May.

    The government says that lavish meals is against islam whereas Maulana Thanawi’s Bihashti Zewar [Heavenly Ornaments]- the #1 wedding gift for Muslim women – was written at the turn of the 20th century for the explicit purpose of cleaning up the Muslim culture.Clearly it is not HINDU culture. It is OUR culture!

    Bottom line:The Government should rethink the law which seems to have not served any good purpose.It should focus on more trivial issues like matters of water distribution and federal aid confronting states in Pakistan rather than diverting the attention of the people of pakistan from important issues like these.I appeal to the government to stop such worthless laws which are serving more damage than serving any advantage.The poor are still poor and unemployment is rising.It is high time that the government fixes its mistakes before things get out of hand and the poor comes out on the streets in the form of strikes.There is still time.

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