Political families are often known to celebrate their weddings opulently but this wasn’t the case with the son of Araga Jnanendra, MLA from Tirthahalli in Karnataka. His son, Abhinandan, was one among five bridegrooms at a simple ‘mass marriage’ held in the town on Thursday. Prashanth Kukke, a member of Tirthahalli taluk panchayat, was also one of the grooms.
‘Kuvempu’s principles’ The event was organized by the Samuhika Vivaha Sanchalana Samiti, which works to promote ‘mass marriages’. Mr. Jnanendra says he believes in the principles advocated by the State’s poet laureate Kuvempu. “In many cases, agrarian families borrow and spend money on weddings. There is a need to cap marriage expenses and spread awareness about this. Elected representatives should set the precedent for it”, he suggested. Mr. Jnanendra’s daughter was married in 2017 in a ‘Mantra Mangalya’ wedding advocated by Kuvempu. This distinct ceremony is officiated by elders of either families, or well-wishers, and leaves no room for the practice of dowry or the presence of priests. Mr. Abhinandan is an MBA working for a private firm in Bengaluru and the bride Shruthi H.S. is a native of Basavani village in the Tirthahalli taluk and a guest lecturer at the D.V.S. Independent PU College in Shivamogga city.
Karnataka BJP president B.S. Yeddyurappa and party leaders B.Y. Raghavendra and Shobha Karandlaje were among those who attended the wedding. The Election Commission deputed a flying squad and a video surveillance squad to the venue, in keeping with the model code of conduct now in force for the Lok Sabha election.