Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi has set a very noble precedent by announcing that his elder son’s marriage will be without any pomp and show, and more importantly, the invitation card will declare that no dowry is taken for this marriage. Sushil Modi’s son Utkarsh works with an MNC in Bengaluru and he is getting married to Kolkata-based chartered accountant Yamini in Patna on December 3. The marriage will be kept a simple affair with no music bands and DJ. All the invitees have sent e-cards through Whatsapp and email. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been sent an e-invitation so that wedding remains a simple affair.
Sushil Modi, while talking to The Indian Express said that his own marriage was conducted in the most simple manner and that his son’s marriage ceremony will be completed in two hours and 1500 chairs will be placed at the venue. There will be no feast and guests will be served only ‘Prasad’. Modi also said that guests cannot be called baraat as there will be no lavish welcome, feast or dance or song. Speaking on no dowry declaration on the invitation card, he said that after a lot of discussions this declaration was made. Let others also say if they have not taken dowry as there is no harm in being proud for not taking dowry, despite it sounds loud. He also said that the Bihar government has launched anti-dowry and anti-child marriage campaign and it is important that he should step forward and set a precedent.
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar launched a statewide campaign to abolish child marriage and dowry, drawing strength from the campaign he had launched previous year to make the state alcohol-free. Bihar ranks second in the country after neighbouring Uttar Pradesh when it comes to dowry-related cases. Kumar gave the statistics to show that problem of dowry still persists in the state. In 2016, 987 cases of dowry deaths were registered in Bihar, while the number of cases of dowry-related atrocities was 4,852, adding that the percentage of child marriage cases in the state stood at 39. The chief minister pointed out that this was the situation, despite there being laws —the Dowry Prohibition Act 1961 and the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006—to eliminate such ill practices.