Thursday July 18, 2024

Mass wedding

By Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani
January 11, 2019

The Pakistan Hindu Council organised its annual mass wedding ceremony in Karachi on January 6. This year, 79 Hindu couples tied the knot during the ceremony.

Around 1,100 couples from 2,200 families have tied the knot through these ceremonies over the last eleven years. A decent dowry, which included crockery, electronic items, bedroom accessories, cash and other items for daily use, was also provided to help the couple start their married life.

This remarkable achievement is a source of happiness, peace of mind and spiritual satisfaction for me. I am grateful to my entire community for always showing firm confidence in me. Members of the managing committee, advisers, observers, youth teams and the secretariat staff of the Pakistan Hindu Council deserve appreciation for making this event successful.

The support provided by different organisations and individuals for this noble cause is truly laudable. Our electronic and print media also played a pivotal role and helped us promote a positive image of our beloved country through this initiative.

The mass wedding ceremony has delivered a clear message to the international community that Pakistan’s Hindu community remains united in serving the motherland. Regardless of the circumstances, the country’s patriotic Hindu community is always committed towards progress. The active participation in this event also demonstrated that a majority of Pakistanis, excluding a few extremist elements, believe in transforming Pakistani society based on the golden principles of tolerance, diversity and interfaith harmony, according to Quaid-e-Azam’s vision. That’s why special prayers for the peace and prosperity of Pakistan were also offered on the occasion.

A new year must always be welcomed with acts of kindness to please God. The most righteous act is to help couples who cannot afford extravagant wedding ceremonies tie the knot. The teachings of all religions emphasise on the importance of marriage and the family system. Marriage is a social and religious duty. According to Hinduism, a couple ties the knot for their entire lives and there is no concept of a separation or divorce.

The three primary goals that underpin a Hindu marriage are dharam (religious duty), parja (descendants) and rati (enjoyment). Religious duties must be given priority. Similarly, there is a consensus in all religions that a strong family system is the foundation of a happy eternal life. It is also believed to be the root of human civilisation.

Pakistan’s Hindu community has faced countless problems since Independence. The registration of marriages was the most critical problem, especially in the absence of a legislation that regulates Hindu marriages. To tackle this serious issue, the Pakistan Hindu Council decided to issue marriage certificates to Hindu couples and arrange annual mass marriage ceremonies.

Social and financial factors were the driving forces for this initiative. A majority of Hindus live in remote areas of the country and struggle to organise weddings ceremonies due to their limited financial resources. According to some estimates, at least Rs5 lakh are required from both the bride and the groom’s side to organise a wedding ceremony in Pakistan. Not being able to get married on time is also a major reason of ongoing frustration in our society.

Today, the Pakistan Hindu Council takes pride in successfully facilitating countless underprivileged families through these initiatives. The annual Hindu mass marriage programme is now the country’s most prominent socio-cultural event. On the occasion, strong social bonds are also developed among participants as they celebrate their big day at a joint gathering.

Each year’s ceremony proves to be far better than the one held in the previous year. I personally ensure that all the necessary arrangements are made for the couples. In return, I enjoy the spiritual contentment of being a father-figure to a hundred brides and grooms at the same time. I am thankful to parents for reposing their trust in me. Without their active support, this wouldn’t have been an easy task.

In fact, these good gestures are essential in directing any country towards peace and prosperity. Therefore, I urge all citizens of Pakistan to join hands and expand the reach of such welfare initiatives across the country.

The writer is a member of the National

Assembly and patron-in-chief of the

Pakistan Hindu Council.

Twitter: @RVankwani