Once upon a time – There was GOLD

‘My daughter’s wedding was fixed for August 2019. I took a loan of Rupees 5 lakhs to manage the expenses. The wedding cost is 2.5 lakh. We had promised the groom’s family that we give 15 sovereigns of gold to our daughter. We had 5 sovereigns with us and thought of buying the rest of the jewelry 2 – 3 weeks before the wedding. But today, the gold rate has gone beyond my roof, and I cannot afford them; I don’t know what to do!’

‘Mine is a love marriage, my parents are aged, and I have saved some of my earnings for my wedding. I planned on buying 5 sovereigns of gold, but now I cannot afford that luxury because I may have to spend from the money I have kept for my jewelry.’

This reflects the society comprising families that fall into the so-called middle class and below. Gold has been the most iconic factor in Indian weddings. More than an asset, it is associated with pride. For these families, planning a wedding is a huge responsibility. It is a savings of a lifetime. A grueling struggle to provide for the family and spare some money towards savings for their daughter’s wedding has cost many their entire lives.

A saying in Tamil, ‘ Veetai katti Paar, Kalyanathai Panni Paar’ – ‘ Try building a house and Try getting married’ that has been used for ages to emphasize the expenses incurred.

The recent inflation in gold has turned it into a luxury that few can afford. One cannot deny the fact that gold is still demanded as dowry. In many cases, women who cannot meet the set dowry requirement either don’t get married or are forced into marriages without consent because the groom had not asked for a dowry.

Many who read this article would ponder why is even gold a matter of consideration for the wedding? Gold in a wedding has been part of Indian Culture for centuries. Although we have evolved, a set of women still need someone voicing out for them. Gold has become more of an emotional bond which raises one question – Is it greed or Pride?

It is high time that the government investigated Gold rates. There are people in need of this revision as it impacts a web of emotions. Every single increase in rate would add a few more tears in the eyes of a bride’s family. We have had many societal reforms over the last two decades – hoping this would also be reformed!


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