Just a couple of days ago, I came across the news of a bill introduced in Loksabha, which proposed the 10% cess/surcharge on marriage expenditures above 5 Lakhs; and that the collected amount should be redirected towards the marriage of poor girls. The bill was ironically (or maybe it does make sense??) introduced by the Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan, whose life’s entire achievement revolved around being “dear wifey” of the mafia-politician-murderer Pappu Yadav.

After getting over my initial revulsion over the disgusting attempt of enforced socialism and austerity-morality, I noticed an equally important and disturbing facet of this bill- money redirection to MARRIAGE of poor women.

And that disgusts me even more than the unconstitutional attack on financial liberty.

Why the hell do we see marriage as the ultimate culmination of life- especially for women (though men face this too, just a couple of years later)?? Why does people’s real concern, about a womanly individual person’s life, ultimately converge on “what will happen to her marriage/how will she get married/who will marry her if.. ”?

Why are all the savings of a family, that are the girl’s share, remain ‘saved’; until she gets married- or does something that ‘justifies’ spending marriage fund? All her life’s desires- from a toffee to the iPhone- have to remain curtailed if it means ‘touching’ the “marriage fund”. And the whole family continues to suffer- mediocre lifestyle, curbed wishes and happiness, deranged lust for money that nobody in the family will ever use- just to give dowry??

From parliamentary debates to living room dramas, why does “assistance in getting the girl married” seem to be the only way to help the poor families? Why not give them the money to repair their leaking roofs, pay off the mortgage on their car/house, or even to get their children in some college/learn some trade or craft- that’ll actually help them eat better; than ruining the lives of two people (and, in extension, two families), just so that “there’s one less mouth to feed”?

Whoever said “marry for the right reason” had obviously never visited India- for nearly always do we force people- both men and women- to marry for the wrong reasons: “your grandma/grandpa/father/mother is dying, and wants to see you ‘set’ before their eyes”, “I’m about to retire; I want to ‘finish this job’ before I leave my job”, “sooner-or-later, you have to get married, right? Then how does today or a few years later make a difference?”

This is ridiculous. But isn’t so the concept of compulsorily arranged marriage, in the first place?? It’s sickening to the core, that we allow millions and millions of lives to be spoilt, their ambitions to be kicked to the boot- just so that their parents could make a blatant display of whom they have chosen to sleep with their child!!

And interestingly, this happens in the same country where millions of parents still dream of their children becoming IAS/PCS/IPS officers. It’s the most hilarious mixture of irony and hypocrisy how the same parents who don’t trust their own children to choose the right person and time to marry also believe- most sincerely- that the same “innocent ‘kid’, unaware of the crafty ways of the world” will be able to diffuse a heightened political tension in a district during a riot, or will be able to control the activities of ISI and international smugglers and human traffickers in an all-new city, just because he/she “acted like a good boy/girl”, and got laid with the person their parents chose!!

Dear parents (and government, too), please spend money on getting women educated and get liberated from the stupid rules like “right age to get married”, to get married as a “responsibility towards parents”- and most importantly, COMPULSORILY arranged marriage.

Don’t worry about marriage- it’s HER MARRIAGE, after all. She’ll get married herself when she wants, and with whom she wants- and if she makes a mistake with that, it’s her life; she gotta own up to it. You need to show the way, and pack her bag, not pave her road for her.

Raise her as a good human person- that’s much more important than giving her a “good dowry”. If you have saved money actually “for her”, don’t use that to leverage her into what’ll most likely become a hell for her. Either give it away to her “just like that”, once she becomes wise enough to know what she wants to spend money on; or, even better, use the money to make her wise enough to know that- via formal education, road trips , night outs, “mistakes” (both sexual and otherwise). LET HER LEARN THROUGH HER OWN LIFE AND MISTAKES, IN SHORT- AND USE THAT MONEY TO FOOT THE BILL OF HER LEARNING PROCESS.

That will be a far, far better use of that money- than marrying her “off” with it!!

PS: Now that I have covered the social-feminine aspect of it, the socialist-economic aspect of this bill also deserves a few words. Dear politicians, and all those people who are hailing this decision, you keep on forgetting that we live in a (truly) LIBERAL, DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY- which means that once people have paid their income tax, and as long as they’re not spending in an anti-national activity, nobody- even the parliament- has a right to dictate how much amount should they spend where; nor do they have a right to demand even a penny on any expenditure they do. Good luck trying to force money out of pockets- especially through a Congress-introduced bill.

PPS: No, it’s NOT a feminist rant; it’s just an angst-rant over common sense, and simple humanity being extended towards ANY person whose rights are being curbed. I’m still an anti-feminist gender-egalitarian.

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