Food for thought | Marriages are inevitable for spiritual, social and biological purposes
Representational PicFile/ GK

Food for thought | Marriages are inevitable for spiritual, social and biological purposes

Spring loses life when its source thins. Lime-stone and quarry-stone extractions cause even mountains collapse their stature. A simple arithmetic that if income is less than expenditure or spending more than earnings it is a deficit state which aggravates unless replenished.

This is true of both the whole and its constituents. If the source of supply is broad based and exceeds its exhaustion there is a certain net increase over the principal quantity like human population where the source of marriage is vast and permanent.

Marriages are inevitable for spiritual, social and biological purposes which sustain the workshop of life. Ipso facto, like the world scenario, the population increases everywhere every year. In Jammu & Kashmir it is projected as 1.36 crore for 2021 with estimates of 53.50 lakh souls for Jammu and 82.50 for Kashmir.

However, marriages nowadays do not come as simple a way as earlier. It is a labyrinthine matter now as a huge (avoidable) expenditure, period of time, and wide arrangements are involved including, inter alia, whopping expenditure on consumption of ruminants’ meat and the disposables.

It is said that Kashmir consumed around 1000 lakh kilograms of such meat during a year. Rough estimates in monetary terms put it at rupees five crore per-diem.

This means Kashmiris spend Rs.17.25 billion annually. Besides, there is camel meat, beef, white meat and the fish to quench our chosen thirst. Undoubtedly increasing expenditure is a sign of growing economy but the incremental expenditure should come from net savings or else it is a sliding towards bankruptcy.

The the ponderable side of story is that indigenous production (about 60 percent) being below par other 40 percent is met through imports mainly from Rajasthan. Thus about Rs.6.90 billion are lost to imports. Imports are not a forbidden tree if the importer has a favourable or at least equal balance of payments with the exporter.

It is also seen that expenses on marriages are financed through borrowings to make a pomp and show. Such people do not cut their coat according to their body which, therefore, mortgages them to the web of debt rarely to get riddance.

If thriftiness is adopted by contending with local produce there would a saving of Rs.6.90 billion a year alone on consumption of meat. It is fait accompli that amount saved is tantamount to amount earned.

Meat or taking meat is not so important as we think. Nature too teaches the same as divine wisdom has created things wisely and orderly to meet demands on the earth.

While as one sun and one moon suffices our world, the stars are in numbers. With seven oceans and about 50 seas in the world, rivers run in hundreds and the springs, streams and the brooks in thousands.

Gold and diamonds so much precious are rare for being usable limitedly unlike iron everywhere in use. Water is ever and all required so is 70 percent. These are the immutable ways of Allah Who, in Surah No.32 Titled Sajdah -The Prostration, Ayat No.7 of the Quran, reiterates that He has, ordained everything properly including vegetables and the vegetation for use everywhere and every time.

Practically none can withstand not to become fed up with the continuous and uninterrupted use of meat unlike vegetables. Almost all our medicines and drugs are derived from vegetables and the vegetation unlike meat for human consumption.

As per some estimation an average consumption of meat is 2.8 kilograms per year while as in Kashmir it is said to be 4.4 kilograms. Nutrition scientists and the dieticians do not prohibit eating of meat as it forms a part of diet.

Anyway crux of the matter is that it is not to be dispensed with because with no hiatus in Allah’s way of doing things, nothing is in vain. Of course time, quantity, frequency and the way of cooking are to be well managed as meat is also a good source of proteins, vitamins and minerals for our body & health.

However, consumption is not to be reduced for demand-supply in-equilibrium but for excessive intake which has negative effects like acne, cancer, constipation, diabetes, harmful cholesterol, heart disease, obesity etc. Momentum gained by heart diseases and diabetes in recent times in Kashmir may not be ruled out to abnormal consumption of meat.

More than 80 percent of population of Kashmir is non-vegetarian and has earned the distinction of voracious meat eaters. It has now become the crème-la de crème of feasts and the functions though over-consumption of meat is no feat nor is this spirit or purpose of either whereas scrimping is.

Then comes too much addition of spices and abnormal frying which play all the havoc making meat and food no good diet. Spicy foods tend to cause heartburn, stomach ulcers, damage to the lining in the stomach which can lead to gastro esophageal reflux disease.

In marriage ceremonies or related events starting from engagement to post marriage functions, there is a brazen use of meat for not less than three kilograms of cooked meat are served per copper plate shared by four invitees with sideline dishes, along with addition of spiced rice with meat.

A volley of disposables costing lakhs of rupees is shot to handle the excessively abundant quantity of meat whose disposal too creates a problem. It is disgusting and disgraceful that where gluttony is neither permissible nor feasible scientifically meat dishes in double digits are showered on and welcomed by people as slaves of belly.

If this amount is pooled up and utilized in a planned manner on planned works wonderful events can happen. Herculean tasks will become play way things.

Diseases related to overeating of meat will vanish or at least get reduced. The expenditure saved on their cure will be a bonus. Apprehensions of market slump and losing some portion of income through reduced expenditure, for chefs and disposable sellers, shall also get substituted as they themselves are part & parcel of the same society and consumers at their own time in the same economy.

The effects of savings resulting from reduced consumption of meat will percolate in other better forms like facilitating education, establishment of technical/non-technical universities/colleges, health & medical institutions, professional institutions, research & development institutes, factories and manufacturing concerns, training & welfare institutions, protection and preservation of art and culture, interest free banking –a much feared and demonized subject in so called modern banking system, employment of unemployed work force etc.

If herbivorous can live a healthy life why not omnivorous with little meat? Elite are to start first to be emulated by non-elite else all shall be asleep and our hard-earned or borrowed money will continue to burn in the self charted furnaces.

The author is a former Sr. Audit Officer and Consultant in the A.G’s Office Srinagar.

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