It’s not unusual these days to find rich businessmen from India promising to hold community marriages for families belonging to lower economic strata, unable to afford lavish wedding expenses. Undoubtedly, they must also not be in a financial condition to give education to their girls.
But who cares?
Surat businessman Gopal Vastapara has become latest to join the bandwagon of ‘social work’.
While it’s commendable that he chose only 300 guests for his son’s marriage cutting down ubiquitous expenses, his purpose for the same stands directionless.
According to India Times, ”Vastapara is busy preparing for mass marriage of 100 girls from socially and economically backward families, irrespective of their caste and religion”.
On 28 April 2016, these young girls will be married off in lavish weddings. The parents will be happy, their in-laws relieved and society will bestow praises on Gopal. Lovely!
In fact, the real estate developer has promised to keep bearing the expenses for these lavish marriages of 100 girls every year for the coming 10 years. Apparently, the newly-wed couples will also be pledging to ‘Save the Girl Child’ and ‘Save the Environment’. Wow, 10 years.
But isn’t a prison of gold, indeed a prison?
I am not saying marriages are wrong. I respect the institution with all my heart.
But, the social work that Gopal Vastara is claiming to do will not save the girl child. Do our problems as a society wind up when we get a girl married?
Hello, marital rape? Hello, depression? Hello, dowry? Hello, female foeticide?
Here, Mr Vastara,
You are indirectly encou raging ubiquitous lavish expenses on weddings. You are indirectly encouraging the notion of marriage before education. You are indirectly encouraging a woman to stay dependent all her life- on her father, husband, and son. Lavish weddings or not, the very idea that marriages need to be an answer to all problems is wrong.
I understand Mr. Gopal has done this as an act of benevolence. It would have been kind, justified and respectful had he taken up this offer to provide education and employment to young girls for coming ten years. Independent women by then wouldn’t have to be looking for social workers to aid their marriages.
Maybe, there is not a dearth of good people. But there is definitely a dearth of good ideas.