NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Sikh leaders in the Indian capital want an end to ostentatious weddings involving gallons of alcohol and mounds of tandoori chicken because they encourage “dowry harassment”, newspapers reported on Sunday.
The Delhi Gurdwara Management Committee, the city’s main Sikh body, told its clergy to not give wedding certificates to families who stray from its new, relatively austere guidelines, the Times of India said.
“Our fight is against the exploitation by those who pose demands on the girl’s family to organise elaborate weddings,” Paramjit Singh Sarna, the committee’s president, was quoted as saying.
“It is this splurge of wealth on ceremonies which is promoting dowry and practices like female foeticide.”
He is asking Sikhs to boycott weddings that are not teetotal, vegetarian and quietly over with by noon. He said such weddings were not in keeping with Sikhism, which urges equality.
The ban on demanding a dowry is widely ignored in India, as is the ban on checking the sex of an unborn child with an ultrasound scan, particularly among wealthier Indians.
Around 10 million female foetuses have been aborted in the last 20 years, according to a study published in the medical journal the Lancet last year. The gender ratio is often more skewed in wealthier areas.