Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Our information goes to show that the most important single cause of borrowing is the expenditure on festivals; and particularly marriages. Births, deaths and other events of life may lead to the necessity for taking small loans, while periods of unemployment due to sickness, dismissal or trade stoppages have an appreciable effect.
In Bombay, in particular, the strikes of 1928 and 1929 appear to have enhanced substantially the extent of indebtedness. But the single large loan which plays an important part in binding permanent fetters on the worker is usually required in connection with a marriage. It is not uncommon for a worker to spend on a marriage the equivalent of a year's wages and to borrow the whole of that sum at a high rate of. interest. As our proposals, it they are effective, will prevent expenditure on this scale for most workers, we wish to make it clear that we are far from desiring to make marriage difficult, or to prevent the worker from celebrating such events in a fitting manner. But he is too often coerced into what may be his own enslavement for years by social pressure, and we believe that if expenditure on a scale entirely beyond his means could be made impossible there would be a great addition to happiness and prosperity, without any check to marriage.