27 November, 2020

Ostentatious Obligations

An austerity bill by a luxury biker has few rich takers desperate to splurge

Big Fat Axe
A drone shot of a high-profile wedding
Ostentatious Obligations

With only a few months left for the celebrations to begin, Anisha Chugh is now beginning to eat, breathe and live her wedding—wanting to make sure everything pans out exactly as she wants it to. She is even beginning to dream caterers, pandals, lehengas and guest lists for multiple functions, which are almost obligatory for most middle and upper class Indian weddings. But of late, a woman from ­Bihar, astride on a Harley-Davidson superbike, is looking to downsize all big wedding plans, including Anisha’s.

She’s the Congress MP who landed up at Parliament in the luxury bike last year—Ranjeet Ranjan, wife of Pappu Yadav, the politician from Bihar with a range of criminal cases against him. She recently introduced ‘The Marriages (Compulsory Registration and Preven­tion of Wasteful Expenditure) Bill, 2016, in the Lok Sabha—a private member’s bill. According to its provisions, families wanting to spend above the stipulated Rs 5 lakh on a wedding must inform the government of their expenses and contribute 10 per cent of it to the...



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