Prof. Dr. Yogendra Yadav
Gandhi Research Foundation, Jalgaon, Maharashtra, India
Contact No. – 09415777229, 094055338
A correspondent sends me an account of a marriage ceremony performed in Karachi. At the time of the marriage of a girl 16 years old, the daughter of a moneyed man Sheth Lalchand, the father is reported to have curtailed the expenditure to a minimum and given the marriage ceremonial a religious and dignified form. The report before me shows that the whole ceremony did not take more than two hours, whereas generally it involves a wasteful expenditure spread over many days. The religious ceremony was performed by a learned Brahmin who explained to the bride and the bridegroom the meaning of what they were called upon to recite. I congratulate Sheth Lalchand and his wife who actively supported her husband upon initiating this belated reform, and hope that it will be copied largely by other moneyed men. Khadi lovers will be glad to know that Sheth Lalchand and his wife are thorough believers in khadi, and that both the bride and the bridegroom were clothed in khadi and are themselves convinced khadi wearers. This marriage ceremony calls to my mind the scene I witnessed at the Agra students’ meeting. They confirmed the information that was given to me by a friend that in the United Provinces young men studying in the colleges and schools were themselves eager to be married early, and expected their parents to go in for a lavish expenditure involving costly gifts, and equally costly and sometimes even more costly entertainments.
My informant told me that even highly educated parents were not free from the pride of possession, and that so far as expenses went they beat the comparatively uneducated wealthy merchants. To all such the recent example of Sheth Lalchand and the less recent example of Sheth Jamnalal Bajaj should serve as a stimulus in cutting down expenditure. But moe than the parents it is the duty of young men firmly to resist premature marriage, more especially marriage during student life, and at all cost to resist all expenditure. Indeed not more than Rs. 10 should be required for the performance of the religious ceremonial, and nothing beyond the ceremonial should be considered a necessary part of marriage rites. In this age of democracy, when the distinction between the rich and the poor, the high and the low, is sought to be abolished, it is for the rich to lead the poor to a contented life by exercising self-restraint in all their enjoyments and indulgences, and let them remember the verse in the Bhagavad Gita, “Whatever leaders of society do, the others will follow.” The truth of this statement we see daily verified in our experience, and nowhere more vividly than in marriage ceremonies and rites in connection with the dead. Thousands of poor people deprive themselves for this purpose of necessaries of life, and burden themselves with debts carrying ruinous rates of interest. This waste of national resources can be easily stopped if the educated youths of the country, especially sons of rich parents, will resolutely set their faces against every form of wasteful expenditure on their account.