MLA Araga Jnanendra from Thirthahalli, Karnataka got his son wed in a simple mass marriage. The event was organised by Samuhika Vivaha Sanchalana Samiti, which works to promote mass marriages.
His son, Abhinandan, was one of the five bridegrooms to get married in the mass marriage. Prashanth Kukke, member of Tirthahalli taluk panchayat was also one of the grooms.
Kuvempu’s Mantra Mangalya
Abhinandan, an MBA working for a Bengaluru-based private firm married Shruthi HS, a native of Basavani village in Thirthahalli taluk and a guest lecturer at a Pre-University college in Shivamogga.
While speaking with The Logical Indian, Jnanedran said, “Very often parents utilise all their savings, and take loans to conduct marriages. There needs to be a cap on these expenses. This mass marriage was attended by around 10,000 people. Individuals from different castes and communities attended the wedding, giving blessings to the couple. We are happy that our son and daughter-in-law are going to begin their martial life with blessings of so many people, it couldn’t have been better.”
He further added that no invitation cards were distributed and guests were sent invitations via social media.
This wedding was attended by the state BJP president BS Yeddyurappa and party leaders like BY Raghavendra and Shobha Karandlaje. The election commission had deputed a flying squad and a video surveillance squad at the venue in lieu of the model code of conduct.
Jnanendra is a staunch believer in the principles of celebrated State’s poet laureate Kuvempu and he adopted the ‘Mantra Mangalya’ advocated by the poet. In 2017, he also wed his daughter in a similar Mantra Mangalya wedding.
A distinct model of marriage, Mantra Mangalya was evolved by Kuvempu. It was an extension of his ideal of Vishvamanava (universal man). It asks individuals to experience the world on their own and not through an artificial and narrow lens of community identities.
This wedding removes the concept of dowry and considers inter-caste and inter-religion marriages. No horoscopes are matched and absolute austerity is observed. The need for a priest is ruled out as the family elders and other well-wishers officiate the ceremony.
The Logical Indian Take
Marriages have always been considered the most important event in one’s life. Families tend to burn a hole in their pockets to put up a show of extravagance and opulence.
The recent celebrity and VIP weddings showing extensive show of wealth have left many starry-eyed. However, what we don’t realise that one needn’t go bankrupt for just one event in his/her life. There are better and more fulfilling ways to do the same.
Araga Jnanedra’s decision to wed his son in a community marriage not just sends a message of austerity but also that of togetherness and diversity. The Logical Indian hopes that others take a cue.