Jammu and Kashmir Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA) on Sunday said ‘Guest Control’ move is a step toward social reform.
Speaking at an interactive session at with representatives of various civil societies, the Minister said that people from all quarters have been apprising him with the menace of extravagant expenditures done on various social functions, especially marriage ceremonies.
The Minister said there were many instances when some people from both Jammu and Kashmir provinces came to him to seek some financial assistance to organize the marriage functions for their children.
“Concept of marriage is to bring joy in the family, not to give sleepless nights to the parents,’ he said. “Due to societal compulsions majority of the families that cannot afford extravaganza are forced to exhaust all their life savings only to follow the trend set by some filthy rich,” he said, adding “Guest Control’ is an excuse for the majority population who suffer in their race to match the taste of elites.”
The Minister assured the order by no means would facilitate or support ‘Inspector Raj’. He said in fact Government is keen to bring people in so that they can take responsibility of making the order a grand success.
The Minister said the Government’s responsibility is to make the laws and rules, but not to go out and stand behind everyone to make them follow them. He said people understand that laws and rules are meant for their betterment and not abiding them attracts penalties of certain types. Likewise, the Minister said people in the State have to understand that “Guest Control Order” is an initiative taken for their welfare, and making its implementation a success would help to make a better society.
The Minister deliberating on rights of people said undoubtedly in a democracy people have right to decide, and right to choice what they want to do.
He said however, while enjoying their liberty people should make sure their enjoyment is not doing any harm to others.
The Minister said people need to introspect themselves for whose rights are getting trampled when loud music is played late in nights, and a patient in next house is not being able to get the much needed rest due to the noise. He questioned for who would secure future of a student preparing for competitive exams when we do not let him concentrate on his studies by playing loud music on amplifiers and cracking loud crackers?
The Minister clarified that the Government has no intention to interfere in someone’s religious belief. He said order is for the welfare of everyone from Hindu to Muslim to Sikh and to Christian, and even to those who do not believe in God at all.
Seeking support from civil societies and various baradaries, the Minister said we all have to work together to weed out the evils from our society. Assuring Government’s support the Minister asked the leaders of civil societies and various baradaries to make a conscious effort to raise awareness among their masses. He said those who try to oppose the Government order, would be dealt by the law accordingly.
Responding to the demand by various baradary leaders to decrease the guest number, the Minister acknowledged that he is well aware with the fact that the number was quite big. However, the Minister added it was finalized so that the interests of everyone from catering business to banquet hall owners are taken care off.
The Minister said to fix the system a step at a time needs to be taken. He added rushing to correct everything in one go would only harm and instead of doing anything good.
Mr. Zuflkar Ali also sought feedback from people to make necessary changes if required in the order and said, “The Guest Control Order is not a gospel’s word which cannot be changed.”
He said the order is in evolutionary phase, and if suggestions given seem genuine, they would surely be incorporated in the order to make it better.
Earlier MLA Rajesh Gupta also appreciated the Government for bringing out the order and said “order” is the need of the hour.
The MLA said the Minister by bringing out the order has done his job, and now onus of its implementation lies on people. Suggesting on need for making people aware for importance to embrace the order, the MLA said the awareness would help to change their mindset of people to shun the evils that have crept into the society.
Director, FCS&CA G S Chib, Joint Commissioner Municipality M S Jamwal, Former Secretary, FCS&CA K B Jandial, Patron Mahajan Sabha Council Nagar Jugal Mahajan, President Greater Jammu, Central Mahajan Sabha S P Langer, Chairman Mahajan Sabah Trikuta Nagar Bal Krishan Gupta, General Secretary S S Jain Sabha, Raman Jain, General Secretary Mahajan Sabah Gandhi Nagar P C Gupta, and heads of other baradaries were also present on the occasion.
Later the Minister had similar kind of meeting at Asia Hotel Jammu where the order was discussed with the representatives of various Traders Organizations.