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INDIANS TALK ABOUT BILLIONAIRE AMBANI’S WEDDING EXTRAVAGANZA, NOT ALL ADMIRATION

by Shakir Husain

NEW DELHI, July 10 (Bernama) – As the son of India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani marries the daughter of a tycoon in Mumbai this week, Indians are talking about the wedding extravaganza.

Although not everyone speaks admiringly about it.

Spectacular celebrations are planned, with foreign and local celebrities, top entertainers, prominent political figures and of course many tycoons gracing the guest list.

Many will wear costumes that wouldn’t look out of place on an Indian film set.

The groom is 29-year-old Anant Ambani, the US-educated youngest son of Mukesh and his wife Nita Ambani.

The bride is Radhika Merchant, 29, whose parents are pharmaceutical group Encore Healthcare founders Viren and Shaila Merchant. They have known each other for many years.

India’s super-rich are rarely shy about flaunting their wealth, and their matrimonial alliances often garner more attention than major corporate mergers and acquisitions.

Mukesh’s daughter Isha married Anand Piramal, son of industrialist Ajay Piramal, in 2018 in an event remembered for its display of wealth, glamour, political power, elaborate Hindu rituals and Bollywood-style celebrations and the reported cost of US$100 million.

Anant’s wedding on Friday promises to be an affair that will be no less remarkable.

His pre-wedding celebrations over three days in March in Jamnagar, Gujarat state, attracted prominent Indian and foreign figures, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Facebook owner Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg and pop star Rihanna.

Jamnagar airfield, which local media reports is primarily an Indian Air Force (IAF) facility, received a large number of private planes. It was reportedly given an “international” airport status for a few days to accommodate foreign guests.

Their second pre-wedding celebration in May involved 1,200 friends, relatives and other guests, on a four-day Mediterranean cruise, with on- and off-ship performances from French disc jockey David Guetta, The Backstreet Boys, American singer Katy Perry and other entertainers , according to media reports.

During the week-long celebration, the Mumbai Traffic Police will restrict public access to the roads leading to the Jio World Convention Center between 1 pm and midnight from July 12 to 15.

The venue, located in the city’s bustling Bandra Kurla Complex commercial district, is owned by the Ambani conglomerate.

Police said in a social media post on July 5 that the arrangement was due to a public event and drew sharp criticism on social media from Mumbai residents who questioned the restrictions to facilitate a private celebration.

A user on X sarcastically asked the government to declare a national wedding day to mark the occasion.

Many direct their anger at the lavishness of the event, questioning how so much money can be spent on a wedding in a country where hundreds of millions survive on a free government ration of five kilos of grain a month.

— BERNAMA

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