Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation policy has come under attack for many reasons. But what has agitated people the most is that the policy has hit the wedding season badly.
To read our take on other aspects of this move you can read these links:
Read More: Demonetisation a scam, PM Modi informed his close aides before announcement: Rahul Gandhi
However, here we will stick to only talking about the criticism the decision has received due to causing difficulties for those getting married.
Even the political opposition is picking on Modi for spoiling weddings.
For example, recently Arvind Kejriwal in a tweet expressed concern about grooms not being to give saalis (sister-in-laws) their share of shagun. While such comments expose the utter banality of Indian politics, it also makes a statement about our obsession with weddings.
A report in Times of India took this obsession to a whole new level:
The story filed from New Delhi reads:
A young woman’s dream of marriage was dashed when the groom’s family called off their eight month-long engagement two days before the wedding, as a result of the cash-crunch due to demonetisation.
A little later in the story the uncle of the bride is quoted as saying:
“The groom’s family was demanding a high-end car, diamond jewellery and cash. We couldn’t raise enough cash to fulfill their demands owing to the note ban and they called off the marriage.”
Clearly, the story here is not about the demerits of demoneitisation. It’s clearly a case of dowry-harassment. By pinning the blame on demonetisation, we are tacitly lending support to a system that is punishable under law but is still openly practiced as it enjoys social sanction. When media organisation pitched these stories around demonetisation, they contribute in legitimisng such evil practices. Which is dangerous.
Why does most wedding stories on demonetisation revolve around the girl’s family?
Here’s what an Indian Express report says
In an apparent fallout of demonetisation, a man in Tarn Taran district died of heart attack Tuesday, three days ahead of his daughter’s scheduled wedding, reportedly because he was stressed for being unable to buy grocery and other items due to shortage of new currency notes.
Sarpanch of the village, Darshan Singh, said, “He had money, but shopkeepers were asking him to bring new notes of Rs 2,000 or only of Rs 100 or lower denominations. Sukhdev had most of the cash in form of old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, but shopkeepers refused to accept. It made Sukhdev tense and he died of heart attack.”
In a recent episode of Aap ki adalat the anchor was seen badgering Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for banning Rs 500 and Rs 1000 note in wedding season. He created a special segment where would be brides almost begged Jaitley to revoke the decision till the wedding season was on. But I didn’t see a single man in that segment. Why?
Isn’t it shameful that the boy’s family can walk out of a marriage days before the wedding because their demands are not fulfilled. Shouldn’t we be ashamed as a society that the bride’s father has to suffer a heart attack because he falls short of a few lakhs for his daughter’s wedding due to unforeseen circumstances?
All these stories have nothing to do with demonetisation. If anything the policy, has unwittingly exposed our reluctance to do away with dowry system and the culture of the girl’s family bearing a greater share of wedding expenses.
Demonetisation has proved a blessing in disguise for all would be brides to test the rea; intention of their would be husbands and in-laws. If they they really value her, no amount of financial constrain can stop her from walking into a happy married life.