Srinagar: Even as Kashmir has been bearing “worst-ever” humanitarian crises, some of the affluent families have resumed hosting scheduled weddings with extravagance.
The traditional Wazas, who were otherwise facing order cancellations, confirmed that they too have started getting calls from their clients to “be ready to prepare the Wazwan, as per scheduled date and time.”
In the latest, two families, living in the posh colonies here, incidentally along opposite banks of the famed Dal lake, hosted grand celebrations. In another case a grand wedding was celebrated in south City along the Srinagar highway.
One of the families headed by a government engineer, whose daughter got married hosted Wazwan to around 1200 guests for three consecutive days, where as the other family into business, had invited around 3,000 guests where the celebrations lasted for one week.
Both the families, “well-connected” in the corridors of power, had arranged curfew passes even for the Wazas and catering people, than to talk of guests who were given a “safe passage” to the wedding venue.
At one of the weddings, over 100 guests made it to the Barat, which left for the feast to bride’s residence at around 11:00 PM, as if it was all normal in Valley, which is actually on boil since July 8 when militant commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani and his two associates were killed.
Though majority of guests kept date with the lavish party, a few staged a walkout. “We had gone to the wedding party out of social and religious obligation of reciprocating to such invites. But what I saw was shameful spending of money when fellow brethren is witnessing bloodbath across the Valley,” the woman told Kashmir Observer.
She said the entire lane leading to the house was decorated with flowers whereas initially guests were served with cold drinks, Kehwa and bakery prepared by some of the best brands available. “Subsequently one of the hosts told us that as many as 21 dishes have prepared for the ladies party whereas for the Barat apart from Wazwan, Chinese and Continental would be served. This made be furious and I silently staged a walkout along with my family,” the woman said.
“How can you enjoy throwing lavish parties when your own brethren in being killed, wounded and left blinded. There’s a crises everywhere. How can we forget this,” she asked.
A traditional Waza confirmed that he has started get confirmation from the clients that the feast would be prepared as per the plan. “For marriages, we make advanced bookings. Though in July and first part of August, the bookings stood widely cancelled, now the pending customers have started calling us that party will be hosted,” said the Waza asking not to be identified.
This is contrary to the initial response from the Kashmiri society towards the unrest, when families went for mass cancellations of the scheduled weddings only to solemnize Nikah with simplicity.
“The month of July saw newspapers being flooded with postponement of marriage functions,” said a journalist.
Observers opine that it was the responsibility of the society in general and separatist leadership in particular to bring check on extravagance in the wedding in celebrations as it was “main cause of social evils.” “If we cannot bring change this time, we never will be able to change our society towards betterment,” said Baseer Ahmed, a senior functionary of a Bemina-based forum representing senior citizens.
Another civil society activist said even though in the past the issue of wedding extravagance was into the notice of the separatist leaders, they took no action on ground.
When contacted a senior Hurriyat Conference leader said it was unfortunate that some people were behaving callously. “This issue has already come to out notice and we’ll pick it up with (Syed Ali) Geelani Sahib, Mirwaiz (Dr Umar Farooq) Sahib and (Muhammad Yasin )Malik Sahib, to decide a strategy so that extravagance is shun,” he said.
“Kashmir’s economy is sucked by marriage extravagance and it has emerged as a main cause of social evils in our society,” the Hurriyat M leader said.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.