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No liquor, non-veg for Sikh weddings

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No liquor, non-veg for Sikh weddings

29 Jul 2007, 0433 hrs IST,Ambika Pandit,TNN

NEW DELHI: The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee has set an austere code for Sikh weddings. No non-vegetarian food or liquor is to be served. Not just tandoori chicken is off limits. A simple ceremony before noon is all that a wedding should be. So no sagan, cocktails and reception after marriage.

Displaying its resolve to back its suggestions with action, DSGMC has said all Sikh weddings should be solemnised in gurdwaras. Those failing to observe the code will be denied marriage certificates. Though it has been claimed that the Sikh clergy would use persuasion, they clearly mean business. Sikhs have been urged not to attend weddings that don't stick to the code.

The anti-ostentation code was decreed at a meeting with heads of about 173 Singh Sabhas across Delhi on Saturday. While DSGMC contends that the move for a "simple wedding" is an attempt to curtail dowry harassment and even female foeticide being resorted to by parents who cannot afford expensive weddings, the spartan extreme proposed is sure to jar a community which likes to celebrate in style. More importantly, it is in line with renewed zeal displayed lately by Sikh clergy to regulate the community's affairs in Punjab as well as other states.

DSGMC seems keen on enforcement. Committee president Paramjit Singh Sarna says the DSGMC will "persuade" families to fall in line but said those who flout the "simple wedding" code will not get a marriage certificate from gurdwaras. Also, those who organise baraats in the evening will not be allowed to marry in a gurdwara besides which members of the committee will boycott such weddings.

ambika.pandit @timesgroup.com

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kharag letz keep it in perspective here. which braat is gonna wanna have sukh-nidhaan at a wedding? as for the jhatka this point has been mentioned on this site under 500 sau sakhi that meat is not to be consumed for savour, and that all the jhataka eaters have to stand in line. Howya gonna get 100 or so braatis to stand in a line?

the jhatka and sukh-nidhaan practice are mainly confined to nihang dals, and if the wedding were to take place in a nihang shouni then we couldnt really argue, but the majority of gurdwaras do not practice this practices/

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Sikh wedding 'clean-up' is easier said than done. Date: 07/30/2007

News Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com

New Delhi, July 30, 2007 - Dislodging the big fat Punjabi wedding is not going to be easy for the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) that tried to discipline the community by issuing a diktat banning non-vegetarian food and alcohol at Sikh weddings.

The committee had threatened that marriage certificates would not be issued to couples who do not keep their weddings a simple affair, but it did not cut ice with everyone in the community.

"If the gurdwara refuses to give us marriage certificates, we can still get a legal tag for our weddings by registering them at the office of the area Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM),†said Parminder Singh, Mayur Vihar resident. Singh says the committee’s diktat is undemocratic.

Legal eagles say DSGMC’s appeal is only advisory in nature. The committee could neither ban drinks/food nor hold back marriage certificates, said senior advocate Tarun Gomber. “The committee can only appeal to people, and this appeal has no legal binding," he added.

While DSGMC thinks simple weddings are needed to fight dowry and foeticide, some like Gurdeep Singh Garha of Gurgaon beg to differ. "Our weddings are about good food and great times. Even though DSGMC’s intent is good, the method is not. They cannot put a blanket ban like this,†said Garha.

DSGMC issued an order on Saturday asking the Sikhs in Delhi to keep their weddings simple by solemnising them at a gurdwara, instead of hosting elaborate functions.

The committee is roping in all gurdwaras and Singh Sabhas in the Capital to drive this message home to the Sikh community. "We are very confident that the Sikh community will welcome our decision. This is what the majority of the Sikh community wanted and we are expecting that over 95 per cent of weddings which would be solemnised in the future will stick to the prescribed norms,†said committee president Paramjit Singh Sarna.

Garha of Gurgaon, however, points out, "In weddings that are solemnised in gurdwaras, no one serves non-vegetarian food or alcohol in any case. That’s what makes this ban look pointless.â€

DSGMC has now added that all Sikh weddings should be solemnised in gurdwaras. “All gurdwaras will be announcing these decisions twice a day so that every Sikh in Delhi is aware of these norms,†added Sarna.

“I would like to have an elaborate marriage for my daughter. I could understand banning liquor but saying that non-vegetarian food is off-limits is not democratic. And people have to understand that dowry and foeticide are not happening because people eat good food at a wedding, it is more about the mentality. The committee has got its basics wrong,†said Jyoti Duggal, the mother of a bride-to-be.

Vidya Krishnan, Hindustan Times

© Copyright 2007 Hindustan Times

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