Palghar (Maharashtra), Feb 9 : A fortnight after his son Amit’s marriage with fashion designer Mitali, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray arranged a mass wedding of 500 tribal couples, here on Saturday.
Raj even performed the token ‘kanyadaan’ of one girl and later handed over the marriage certificate to the excited couple.
The mass wedding was held at a public ground in Boisar town. 25 priests were in attendance along with 25,000 invitees, including the couples’ families.
Thackeray and his wife Sharmila arrived in a helicopter to attend the mass marriage.
“While the grooms were gifted the wedding attire, brides were given a colourful Maharashtrian wedding sari and a one gram gold mangalsutra with black beads. Each couple had a separate ‘havan-kund’,” MNS Palghar President Kundan Sankhe told IANS.
Later, amid wedding music played in the background, couples were gifted a set of utensils and other basic household articles to enable them start their married life with ease.
The couples sought blessings of Thackerays and other guests before sitting down to enjoy the wedding feast.
“This was Maharashtra’s biggest mass wedding for tribal youth and was performed on a grand scale to make it memorable for the couples and their families,” said Pravin Patil, a local social activist and editor of ‘Gramin Mahasatta’.
Raj and his wife lauded the arrangements made by the local party unit for the mass wedding.
“Recently, my son Amit got married. The joy we felt then was relived at the community wedding ceremony for 500 tribal couples in Palghar,” he said in a tweet.
Sankhe said all tribal boys and girls hail from remote villages in the district and are from very poor backgrounds.