The wedding festivities hosted by Mukesh Ambani and his wife, Nita Ambani, that began on Saturday in Udaipur, and drew celebrities from around the world will end later this week. Mukesh Ambani’s only daughter Isha Ambani is getting married to Anand Piramal, son of industrialist Ajay Piramal. Mukesh Ambani is the wealthiest Indian while Ajay Piramal is the 26th richest Indian, according to Forbes list of richest Indians 2017.
The A-list guests included the former secretaries of state Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, who reportedly danced to bhangra while Bollywood stars became backdrop dancers, “dancing to the tunes of Ambanis and their wealth”.
And yes, not to forget there was a 45 minutes performance by one of the most entertainers of the planet : Beyonce.
According to reports, she has been paid anywhere between Rs 30 Crores to Rs. 50 Crores for her singing at Isha Ambani. While the wedding is said to cost a million dollars, that is any family’s personal choice at any moment of joy, the display of wealth has been criticized, more openly by commoners, not just in India but across the world. Interest in the marriage generated global interest post Beyonce’s performance.
The New York Times reported, “Not everyone in India is excited; some critics said on social media that the extravaganza was unseemly in a country with so much poverty. Among other opinions one Twitter, one read,
Imagine the impact #AmbaniWedding would have had if Mukesh donated hundreds of crores spent on silly dance & music extravaganza & charter flts to social causes: weddings of orphans/free eye care of lakhs etc & the couple had a simple wedding in a temple & got blessed by lakhs.— K. C. Singh (@ambkcsingh) December 9, 2018
A report last month by the Paris-based World Inequality Lab found that the richest 10 percent of India’s population controlled 63 percent of its wealth in 2012, up from 45 percent in 1981.
Last year Forbes reported, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “economic experiments” barely affected India’s billionaires. “Despite India’s economic hiccups, tycoons on the 2017 Forbes India Rich List saw their wealth soar as their combined fortunes rose 26 per cent to $479 billion (over Rs 31 lakh crore),” the magazine said.
At a time when 73 million population in India lives under extreme poverty, the questionable display of wealth by the Ambanis is both unfortunate and food for thought.