Hyderabad Urdu papers launch campaign for simple weddings

At a time when the big Indian wedding season is on in full swing, editors of three major Urdu papers of Hyderabad have launched a campaign to move towards simpler and more austere marriage celebrations, with an "appeal" to their readers.

The three broadsheets, Siasat, Munsif and Rahnuma-e-Deccan, are known to wield considerable influence.

The appeal has been made in "consultation with the Ulema" and "in the light of the Quran and tradition", say editors Zahid Ali Khan (Siasat), Khan Latif Mohammed Khan (Munsif) and Syed Viqaruddin Qadri (Rahnuma-e-Deccan).

The campaign suggests holding the marriage ceremony in mosques, avoiding dowry, limiting festivities to family and those coming from outside town, avoiding lavish dinner parties post nikaah, and sticking to the time set for the ceremonies. The 'Daawat-e-Walima' the reception hosted by the boy's side should be organised keeping in view "the condition of the poor and deprived, and done simply", says the campaign.

Earlier, a news report on two sisters in Baghpat in western Uttar Pradesh being ferried to their weddings in a helicopter and elephant respectively, at a huge cost, had been widely commented upon in the papers.

"We are focusing on persuading all sides to host just a tea party after the nikaah and to resist pressure to spend enormously on the ceremony. We have got very good response. We hope to put up posters and distribute pamphlets in masjids too very soon," said Zaheeruddin Ali Khan, the managing editor of Siasat.

Fireworks, "band-baaja", videography and expensive stage and decorations should be avoided, adds the campaign, directed mainly towards the youth.

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