Hindu weddings are grand, but they are also mostly patriarchal. One of the main rituals of the Hindu wedding, the kanya daan (or the giving away of the daughter), is especially so given the father of the bride, or a a male member of the bride's family, 'gives' the daughter to the groom as if she were the father's property being transferred to the bridegroom.
So when Ashay Shahasrabuddhe and Shivada Chauthaiwale decided to get married in Nagpur, they rightly skipped this regressive ritual.
What was even more reassuring is that even the parents of the newly weds were part of this decision.
The Hindu quoted Nayana Sahasrabuddhe, the mother of the bridegroom, as saying, "I believe that a Kanya is not a commodity to be given away as daan . The ritual also takes away all sense of agency from the bride and is as though her parents are abdicating custody of her."
The word daan literally means to donate.
And not just that, they even had a woman priestess officiating the ceremony.
It is usually male priests who carry out most religious ceremonies, including weddings. Bur the Shahasrabuddhes and Chauthaiwales chose a woman priestess Padma Kasalikar. She told The Hindu that while there were 2000 women priests in Nagpur and Pune, most of them stuck to smaller rituals.
Ashay is the son of BJP vice president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe. Shivada is the niece of BJP's foreign affairs cell head, Vijay Chauthaiwale and daughter of Shreya and Shriram Chauthaiwale. They got married last week.
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