On April 14, Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt are tying the knot. The pre-wedding ceremonies of the couple, including Mehndi, Haldi etc., have already been done. Their wedding is expected to happen as per Hindu rituals.
However, it is unclear if the Kanyadaan ceremony will take place or not. Notably, Alia Bhatt had called the ceremony regressive in an advertisement for the Manyavar brand last year.
Alia Bhatt’s father, Mahesh Bhatt is part Muslim (mother Shirin Mohammad Ali was a Muslim) and Part Gujarati Brahmin (father Nanabhai Bhatt was Gujarati Brahmin). So it is unclear if there will be Islamic rituals to be followed at the wedding or not. Similarly, her mother, Soni Razdan, is part Kashmiri Hindu (Kashmiri Pandit father, Narendra Nath Razdan) and part Christian (British-German mother, Gertrude Hoelzer). There is no clarity if any rituals from her Christian side would be followed during the wedding or not.
The pre-wedding ceremonies of the couple were held at Ranbir’s Pali Hill residence. Celebrities including Kareena Kapoor Khan, Karisma Kapoor, and Karan Johar were present at the ceremonies. Ranbir Kapoor’s mother, Neetu Kapoor, had posted a story on Instagram in which she showcased her Mehndi with the late Rishi Kapoor’s name written in it.
Alia Bhatt Kanyadaan controversy
Last year, Clothing brand Manyavar found itself in the midst of a controversy after one of its recently released advertisements again painted Hindu rituals and customs as ‘regressive’. The advertisement featuring Alia Bhatt portrayed ‘Kanyadaan’ as an oppressive practice and suggested ‘Kanyamaan’ as an alternative.
Manyavar claimed that it was “Promoting a progressive way of thinking, one tradition at a time!” Apparently, ‘Kanyamaan’ “gives a new spin to wedding rituals, highlighting the idea of respecting brides instead of ‘giving them away.” Manyavar had to pull down the ad after the controversy.
‘Daughters are considered property/wealth’
Busting myths around Kanyadaan, author Nityānanda Miśra explained the meaning of ‘dhan’ straight from a Sanskrit dictionary. As per the book, dhan, apart from wealth, also means ‘something that is loved and considered to be valuable.’
In Sanatan, not just daughters but even sons are considered to be ‘dhan’ which is known as ‘putradhan.’ Quoting a Sanskrit shloka, he further explains how even ‘vidya’ or knowledge and education is considered to be dhan.
According to Miśra, charity cannot be equated to merely wealth or money. In Sanatan, the concept of ‘daan’ expands from knowledge to even life, known as ‘vidyadaan’ or jeevan daan’, respectively.
Demystifying the concept of ‘kanyadaan’, Miśra further informed about the concept of ‘putradaan’ as well. He had also cited a shloka from the epic of Mahabharata to further his point. As per other texts on ‘kanyadaan’, the mantra, japas and other actions performed at the time of the ritual signify the bride as Laxmi. The symbolic act of the bride’s father giving away his daughter to Narayan (the groom) is considered as him making his daughter the ‘grace’ of somebody else’s house.