Everyone knows the over the top Indian weddings with the elephants, the helicopters dropping flowers and no one begrudges the wedding family for showing off their happiness to the world, on the day that is one of the most significant events in a young bride or groom’s life. However, in light of the stories that keep haunting the front pages which tell of farmer suicides throughout India; as well as incidents of dowry harassment; and the ever-present growing gap between the rich and the not so rich, this well-intentioned celebration can actually be an insensitive faux pas.
I understand that lavish and elaborate weddings are always going to be a huge part of the Indian culture; but I also believe that we all need to find a happy medium to accommodate the happiness of the family and the suffering of the people who have somehow not made it. Just like Indian five star hotels charge you a luxury tax for staying in that luxury I am proposing a SIYH (Share in Your Happiness) tax.
This would have to be paid by the families who throw lavish weddings. What’s more, it should be considered by them as a way to share their happiness. Certainly, when we lived in smaller communities this was the case. Only with the development of large urban centers have we become so distant from our neighbors as to not be able to share in their great celebration. The tax could be used to fund any number of things e.g.:
1) A source of funding parents who cannot afford a proper wedding for their daughters.
2) A legal fund to assist victims of dowry harassment.
This tax would remove the guilt of the wedding family since I am sure they are not oblivious to the conditions right outside their wedding party. When discussing economics, it has been said that a rising tide lifts all boats. I suggest we modify that to reflect the cultural traditions and start acting as though a beautiful wedding is a beautiful tradition for the entire community