JAMMU, Mar 19: Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA), Zulfkar Ali today said ‘Guest Control’ Order is a step towards social reform.
Speaking at an interactive session with the representatives of various civil societies, the Minister said that people from all quarters have been complaining about the menace of extravagant expenditure on social functions, especially marriage ceremonies.
The Minister said there were many instances when some people from both Jammu and Kashmir provinces came to him to seek some financial assistance to organize the marriage functions for their children.
“Concept of marriage is to bring joy in the family, not to give sleepless nights to the parents,” he said. “Due to societal compulsions majority of the families that cannot afford extravaganza are forced to exhaust all their savings only to follow the trend set by some affluent,” he said, adding “Guest Control is a respite for the majority population who suffer in their race to match the taste of elites.”
The Minister assured that the order by no means would facilitate or support ‘Inspector Raj’. He said in fact Government is keen to bring people in so that they can take responsibility of making the order a grand success.
The Minister said the Government’s responsibility is to make the laws and rules, but not to go out and stand behind everyone to make them follow the same. He said people understand that laws and rules are meant for their betterment and not abiding them attracts penalties of certain types. Likewise, the Minister said people in the State have to understand that “Guest Control Order” is an initiative taken for their welfare and making its implementation a success would help to make a better society.
The Minister clarified that the Government has no intention to interfere in someone’s religious belief. He said order is for the welfare of everyone from Hindu to Muslim to Sikh and to Christian.
Seeking support from civil society forums, the Minister said, “we all have to work together to weed out evils from the society”. Assuring Government’s support, he asked the leaders of civil societies to make a conscious effort to raise awareness among masses.
Responding to the demand by various civil society leaders to decrease the guest number, the Minister acknowledged that he is well aware with the fact that the number was quite large. However, the Minister added it was finalized so that the interests of everyone from catering business to banquet hall owners are taken care off.
The MLA Rajesh Gupta said Government has issued an order to control the growing menace of extravaganza, and now onus of its implementation lies on people.
Director, FCS&CA, G S Chib, Joint Commissioner Municipality M S Jamwal, Former Secretary, FCS&CA K B Jandial, Patron Mahajan Sabha Council Nagar Jugal Mahajan, President Greater Jammu, Central Mahajan Sabha S P Langer, Chairman Mahajan Sabah Trikuta Nagar Bal Krishan Gupta, General Secretary S S Jain Sabha, Raman Jain, General Secretary Mahajan Sabah Gandhi Nagar P C Gupta among heads were also present on the occasion.
Later, the Minister attended another meeting with Chamber of Traders Federation.
President of Chamber of Traders Federation Neeraj Anand brought to the notice of Minister certain contentious points, which need immediate attention of the Government.
“Blanket ban on distribution of sweets especially ladoos & dry fruits packs along with marriage invitation cards shall tantamount to interference in the religious sentiments connected with various customs and rituals being followed during various ceremonies”, he said.
While welcoming the restrictions on number of guests, he proposed 700 guests for joint receptions and demanded that in smaller functions like Satsang, Sant, Shagun, Ring Ceremony 150 guests may be permitted. Stating that in Jammu region mostly vegetarian dishes are served during marriage ceremonies, Neeraj Anand said that instead of maximum of 7 vegetarian and 7 non veg dishes, around 10 vegetarian dishes and 4 non veg dishes should be allowed along with 2 stalls of deserts.