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Friday, March 4, 2011

Pengantin lelaki dapat hadiah helikopter AS$8 juta di hari perkahwinan

March 5, 2011

DELHI: The groom wore a garland made of banknotes and received a helicopter as a gift, there were 18,000 guests - or perhaps it was 30,000 - and 1000 workers took 40 days to prepare the venue.

The exact details have been fiercely disputed, but the newspapers were all in agreement that this had been one very big, very fat Indian wedding.

Lalit Tanwar married Yogita Jaunapuria at a family farmhouse near Delhi in a ceremony celebrated with 100 dishes, 12 giant TV screens to broadcast proceedings and even a gift of $US5500 for the groom's barber.

''I don't understand why there is so much hoopla about this marriage,'' the groom's father, Kanwar Singh Tanwar, told the Times. ''All estimates of this marriage in the media are speculation.''

In the Indian Express, he was quoted as saying: ''True, a Bell 429 helicopter was given but it was a simple wedding.''

Kanwar Tanwar is a wealthy city politician from the ruling Congress party. The bride's father is a former politician in the capital - making the arranged marriage a perfect power deal. The lavish celebrations came despite pleas from Sonia Gandhi, the Congress party leader, to cut back during a corruption scandal.

Mrs Gandhi has criticised colleagues for flaunting their wealth and has encouraged them to show solidarity with the common man by travelling economy class. Mani Shankar Aiyar, a Congress leader and former minister, said displays like the Tanwar wedding sent the wrong signal about the Congress party.

''What's needed is a stern warning to all Congress men that they should not indulge in this kind of ostentation,'' he said.

The media recorded each detail of the wedding with shock and delight. The Hindustan Times reported that at a pre-wedding ceremony, 2000 guests were given a silver biscuit, a safari suit and $US500 in cash. At a different ritual the bride's family welcomed the groom with gifts worth $US5 million.

The newlyweds, both 26, were heralded by flowers and lights bedecking three kilometres of roads leading to the function, where no meat or alcohol were served in line with Hindu tradition.

Agence France-Presse, Telegraph, London