Guest Control Order not gospel truth, can be changed: Jammu-Kashmir minister

Stating that the “Guest Control Order” for curbing expenses in marriages is for the society’s welfare, the Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday sought people’s feedback to make necessary changes in it. “The Guest Control Order is not a gospel truth which cannot be changed. It is in a evolutionary phase,” Minister for Food and Civil Supplies Zulfkar Ali said at Jammu and sought feedback from people to make necessary changes in it.

“If suggestions seem genuine, they would surely be incorporated in the order to make it better,” he assured.
The Minister said people 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.

Shrinking the big fat Kashmiri wedding and other opulent functions, the Jammu and Kashmir government had recently issued the “Guest Control Order” to impose curbs on expenses, the guest list and dishes to be served on such occasions.

It had also put a ban on the use of amplifiers, loud speakers and fire crackers at such events in the state. The order will be implemented from April 1.

Under criticism from civil society and some political organisations over the said order, Ali said the government has no intention to interfere in someone’s religious belief, it is for the welfare of everyone from Hindu to Muslim to Sikh or Christian.

BJP state unit chief Sat Pal Sharma (MLA) had said,” The decision is interference in the religious affairs of the Hindus and it should not be implemented hastily.”

The Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party had stated that the rule defied all logic and rationale and was a “violation of fundamental rights”.

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.

He said there were many instances when some people have come to him to seek some financial assistance to organise the marriage functions.

Seeking support from the civil society, Zulfkar Ali said “We all have to work together to weed out evils from the society” and asked the leaders of the civil societies to make a conscious effort to raise awareness among masses.
He said those who try to oppose the government order would be dealt by the law accordingly.

Responding to the demand by various civil society leaders to decrease the guest number, the Minister acknowledged that he is well aware that the number was quite large.

According to the ‘Guest Control Order’, the number of guests to be invited on the marriage of daughter including baraat should be restricted to a maximum of 500 and on that of son, it should not exceed 400.

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