India To Clamp Down On Lavish Weddings

An Indian wedding.

India is set to clamp-down on lavish weddings and cap the amount poor families can spend on them in an attempt to reduce rising debt and dowry-related crimes.
Despite being regularly celebrated in Bollywood films, glitzy Indian weddings have been blamed for putting pressure on poor families to borrow money to finance garish ceremonies and meet excessive dowry demands.
Campaigners believe these pressures are the cause of many ‘dowry murders’ of new brides and debt-related suicides of farmers in rural India. They believe many female foetuses are aborted because of family fears of high wedding costs – sometimes up to ten times their income.
According to women’s rights groups, it has been increasingly common for business leaders to charter airliners to ferry guests to venues around the sub-continent and to hire the palaces of local Maharajas.
Even low earners, like taxi drivers, spend as much as £10,000 on their family weddings.
The new measures being considered by the government would check rising wedding costs and the social fallout with new curbs on how much low income groups can spend on wedding buffets and gifts.
“Introduction of ceilings, in terms of percentages of income on both gifts and marriage expenditure, needs to be considered,” the panel said.
The recommendation, from a panel on India’s Dowry Prevention Act, follows a UN report which identified India as the world’s most dangerous place to be born a girl.
It found that between 2000 to 2010 there were 56 deaths of boys aged one to five for every 100 female deaths.
There have been an estimated eight million abortions of female foetuses in India in the last decade.



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