THE five-day $74 million wedding of Indian businessman and ex-state minister Gali Janardhana Reddy’s daughter, Brahmani, has set off a political storm.
A staggering 50,000 guests have been invited to the wedding, which will have 3,000 bouncers and 300 policemen on security duty along with sniffer dogs and bomb squads.
The invitations were gold plated.
Preparations for the wedding began months back, and eight Bollywood directors were hired to create sets resembling ancient Hindu temples, to form a backdrop to the ceremonies.
Critics have described it as an “obscene display of wealth”, and Indians have taken to social media to ridicule the lavish nupitals.
Part of the controversy is because the wedding kicked off just days after the Indian government announced it would scrap 500 and 1,000 rupee notes in a crackdown on undeclared wealth.
Millions of Indians have been standing in queues in an effort to deposit or exchange the old currency and frustration is widespread.
Reddy was a former member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka, and recently spent three years in jail on corruption charges, which he denies, but was freed on bail last year.
The $74 million price tag for the wedding, is just over five times the annual military budget of the African island state nation of Mauritius.
Mauritius has one of the smallest militaries in the world.
It is over seven times neutral Iceland’s military expenditure of $9.9 million.