7 Things That Won’t Happen in My Wedding (Or How to Have a Feminist Hindu Wedding)

By Tanuj Kalia

Hi there! Most of us will marry. And tomorrow (March 8) is Women’s Day.

Our Constitution is big on equality.

Feminism means believing that all genders deserve equal treatment. We all are feminists. If you don’t consider yourself a feminist, tch tch tch. 

Having said those random sentences, here are the things that won’t happen at my wedding.

1. Kanya daan.

Girls are not properties. It’s terrible that I have to mention this in the 21st century.

Kanya daan assumes that the girl was her father’s property who is now being ‘donated’ and sent in the care of her husband. Bull shit.

Where is the girl’s agency in this?

If you somehow do a super-twisted, liberal interpretation that kanya daan is symbolic of a sacrifice, of a gift, then let there be a ladka daan too.

2. The seven vows.

Have heard the seven vows closely now. Most of them are highly misogynistic and patriarchal.

I love the idea of the vows, of a ritual signaling a transition.

I plan to co-create these new seven vows with my partner in consultation with books, psychologists, parents, elders, and marriage counselors.

3. Vidaayi.

No one is going anywhere.

If vidaayi is a symbol of say a ‘moving’, ‘transition’ from singlehood to marriage, then the boy should be vidyai-ed too.

4. More than 150 people.

If you don’t know me or my partner closely and directly, you are not invited.

For me, marriages are not mass dinners, or paise barbaad karo abhyaan.

A marriage is a declaration that two people have reached an understanding’ where they can care for young human beings and help them in their understanding of life.

5. An elaborate dinner.

You have already tried all the desserts, the Chinese, the Italian, and the Indian food. I have nothing else to offer.

If you want great food, go to a restaurant.

Come to the wedding because you want to join in the celebrations not to satisfy your gluttony self.

Don’t invite 1000 people, have a hall full of dishes, and then buy an eco-friendly polythene bag.

5.A. Plastic cutlery.

6. No shagun (gift).

Give me gifts. Preferably in cash. We’ll open a small school from that money.

I’d prefer 10 school desks over a fancy dining table.

7. Sindoor/chooda.

These are visible signs that a girl is now ‘taken’ and not sexually available. No such visible marks for the guy. Why?

If the girl so desires, sure. Then I too will wear some sort of ‘mark’.

PS- if you are not for points 4, 5, 6, that’s fine. Not assuming a moral high ground here. If you are not for points 1, 2, and 3, that’s not fine. You may unfriend me.

PPS- nothing against the religion or customs. Customs were created to facilitate human living and need to evolve with time. If you blindly follow a custom, you are dishonoring the very purpose of a custom, and of course disrespecting your being a human being.

Comments are welcome.

Fun question. Who all are in the pic? Comment below!



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