Monday, April 23, 2007

A Minister Accused of Dirty Dancing in a Mass-Wedding Ceremony in the Same Date of Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Marriage

April 20th was the marriage date of the much-hyped wedding of Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai. On the same day, the government of Madhya Pradesh also organized a mass-marriage ceremony of 101 poor girls in Sagar. The marriage ceremony also created some media attention among the locals. However, the minister of cooperatives in Madhya Pradesh, Gopal Bhargava, has been accused of dirty dancing in the ceremony. The Times of India reported:

Bhargava invited thousands of people to the ceremony, promising zordaar (exciting) celebration.

“Please remember to come because on this day heroine Aishwarya Rai and actor Abhishek Bachchan will get married. This wedding will be no less: you will be able to decide which one is more colourful – Bachchan's or of the poor girls,” read the invitation card.

The mass wedding was held under the state's ‘Kanyadaan Yojana’ on ‘Akshaya Tritiya’, the day believed to be the most auspicious according to the Hindu calendar, in Garakota town.

The Madhya Pradesh Congress has termed Bhargava's conduct as “inappropriate.”

PCC spokesman Manak Agarwal had this to say: “The minister not only sat through watching the indecent dance, but even invited people to participate in it.”

Agarwal said his party would ask CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan to sack Bhargava, or else it would approach the governor to expel him.

Bhargava, however, defends himself: “Rai dance is at the same level as Bharatanatyam or Kathak,” he says.

“It is traditional to Bundelkhand and recognised by the state government as a folk dance. The Rai dance and firing gunshots are common in Bundelkhand weddings,” said Bhargava.

Though the minister dubbed the dance a folk dancing, the government should go into the matter and should find out what kind of dance it was and if it is beyond the tradition.