As India becomes richer, its people are constantly looking for ways to spend their money. Indian weddings for example have grown more and more ostentatious over the years. Recently an Indian minister has took upon himself the task of regulating the often garish display of wealth. He has signed in on this crusade apparently to reduce food wastage so that more of it can be redirected to India's starving millions.
What seems like a good idea on the surface doesn't stand scrutiny on closer inspection. The Indian state has apparently forgotten the "govern" in government. Instead it spends its energies on ponderous topics such as producing soap operas and sub-compact cars. So why is the marriage regulation a bad idea? To understand this better, one needs to know about the law of unintended consequences. Laws are often made under the assumption that the environment on which they are applied are sterile and unchanging. They fail to account for the various feedback loops found in everyday life.
Not long ago, the government decided to help out renters who were being squeezed by rising apartment costs. It passed a rent control law that prohibited home owners from arbitrarily increasing leasing charges. But it in its infinite wisdom, it forgot to account for inflation. Very soon you had cases where $1 million apartments were being rented out for $100. The owners had no recourse to evicting the tenants. Realizing that they could never make a profit, they stopped maintaining their properties. Slowly the apartments fell into disuse and became unsafe for the tenants. In the end, a law that was meant to help the renters turned out to be their biggest headache.
In my opinion, first of all the government has no business regulating the resources spent on a wedding. There are bigger fishes to fry such as an illiterate and hungry citizenry bigger than the U.S. Even if it decides to go ahead with this idea, it should keep the law of unintended consequences in mind.