Woman priest solemnises a wedding in Nagpur, that too sans ‘Kanyadaan’

Radhika Dhawad | May 15, 2017 18:54

Wedding without kanyadaan
INSPIRATION: Wedding without kanyadaan (Photo source: The Hindu)

It was one of a kind wedding in Nagpur last week, which was solemnised by a woman priest. What made the wedding all the more inspiring was the fact that the bride’s parents chose not to perform Kanyadaan (a ritual of giving away the bride) with the mutual consent of the groom’s family. Ashay, who’s the son of BJP vice president Nayana and Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, tied the knot with Shivada, the niece of BJP’s foreign affairs cell head Vijay Chauthaiwale. Shivada is the daughter of Shreya and Shriram Chauthaiwale.

Padma Kasalikar, the female priest who officiated the wedding, said, “There are at least 1000-2000 women priests in Nagpur as well as in Pune. But, they usually perform smaller poojas. I do tell families that Kanyadaan is an important ritual but having said that, in this case, both the families were quite certain. Both the families wanted to pare-off the existing patriarchal mind-set.”

Groom’s mother Nayana, who’s also the vice president of Bhartiya Stree Shakti Sangathana, said to a leading daily, “I believe kanya (daughter) isn’t a commodity, which is given away as daan (donation). The ritual is like as if the bride’s parents are renouncing the custody of their daughter. We do kanya-poojan on one hand and on the other hand, we refuse to recognise their rights. We need to eliminate this hypocrisy.”

A senior BJP official who attended the wedding said, “Usually, people take it negatively when someone in public life with not-so-sober public image does such an act. Otherwise, the society is quick to adopt such things.” Senior ministers of the RSS, Union ministers and various other political bigwigs made it to the wedding to bless the newly weds.