Let us NOT be Mad at Isha Ambani’s Rs 110 Crore Wedding
They say love has no price. But then if you’re Ambani, the love for the daughter (happily) costs Rs 110 crore.
Yes, Isha Ambani, daughter of Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, got married to Anand Piramal, son of another billionaire industrialist Ajay Piramal. While the early rumorssuggested that the wedding billed Mr. Ambani a full $100 million, the latest – and much reliable – reports claim that the whole extravagant affair came at a price of about $15 million. This loosely translates in INR 110 crore. Full Rs 1,10,00,00,000.
Now, those too many zeroes are enough to trigger the moral compass of the majority. And rightly so! After all, Antilia – a Rs 450 crore sea-facing mansion gifted to the newly-wed couple by the in-laws – isn’t very far from Dharavi, one of the world’s most crowded slums…
After all, the wedding happened in a country where 11.1 percent of the extremely poor in the world dwell. The wedding took place in India that homes 23.4 percent of the world’s hungry people, trading worse than North Korea.
Wait, do I sound morally pissed?
If yes, trust me, I am not!
Do They Owe Something to Us (Legally)?
One of these days, the self-righteous crowd of the country –who throw phrases like “human rights” “ethic” and“humanity” oh-so-casually – need to realize that Ambanis do not owe anything to this country. They aren’t responsible to fix the social, cultural, and economic fabric of the country.
Mukesh Ambani is a businessman. Irrespective of his own rhetoric and garb, which are usually meant to woo the investors, he isn’t tasked to boost our economy, make people’s lives better, and/or help India grow. Yes, if, on his way to deck up his personal worth, he can contribute to India’s economy, it’s fair and enough.
The man – and his wife Neeta Ambani – do enough already. Their organizations and initiatives, spread across sectors, employing lakhs of Indians. Their foundation does an incredible work in healthcare and education. Neeta Ambani is the founder and Chairperson of Dhirubhai Ambani International School that continues to set benchmarks in the higher education of the country.
Only recently, Reliance Foundation donated a sum of Rs 21 crore and relief material worth Rs 50 crore for Kerala floods. And this isn’t a sole instance. Even when with missing media hype, a man worth $47.3 billion likely pays a decent amount for causes.
BUT then does he have to do all of these if we look at it without any sense of moral obligation? Likely not!!
Let’s Question Ourselves
And oh, for all the moral-messiahs there contending “but there are kids dying”, just distributing a sum of money among the poor isn’t a solution to fix poverty and hunger so to speak economically. Also, if you’re going to look at things with the same spectacle, why decide to overlook so many otherimmoral instances?
Why not discuss the immorality of women getting groped on public transport EVERY DAY? Why not object the immorality of your favorite politicians who squash their promises after every election? And, oh, here’s the big one: why not question the immoral stance of the entire country to not partake in the protest where lakhs of farmers marched to Delhi?
The moral compass shouldn’t be hinged to our convenience. It’s easier to talk about “humanity”, sitting at the comfort of our homes, on Twitter. It’s easier to preach our own sense of understanding. But how many of us really act in accordance with those beliefs when the time comes?
The Ambanis (and Adanis) do not owe anything to anyone. Indeed, there is no denying that on many occasions, they haveexploited the resources to climb up the ladder. Few can contest for their capitalist business model that often outdo the legal norms. But those are claims that must be contested in the judicial system and not be synced with our individual moral ideas.
What others do with their wealth is their respective prerogative. They enjoy the right to choose and live. It’s not a matter of morality, which usually ends up in judgments and hatred against a class. It’s important that we get the perspectives correct that usually expect a lot from the billionaires. Regardless of how they have managed to positionthemselves where they are right now – with the sweat, tear and blood of thousands of employees – they don’t owe anything to the world based on morality. Believing otherwise is rather selective and hypocritical on our part.
The Wrong Influence
Indeed, we can expect Mukesh Ambani to be more sensiblewith his choice because he isn’t just an industrialist to this country—he’s a celebrity who flexes mass societal influence. Many people draw inspiration from his decisions and choices. The extravagant wedding for his daughter may have set many wrong notions among his followers.
And this isn’t just about the Ambanis. It’s equally about other personalities who stand in the same place. The extravaganza, opinionatedly, wasn’t required in the grand weddings we say this year, from Deepika’s to Priyanka’s. And they should haveavoided – or, at best, hushed – the affair from the mainstream. Because these celebrities tout massive influence on the public. And out of such matters, the influences are usually unnecessary and, at times, negative.
It’s hard to believe the to-be brides not wished to have looked like Deepika on their big day. Or, for that matter, it’s difficult to think that other wealthy families wouldn’t have decided to throw royal weddings for their children, just like the Ambanis’, out of sheer ego.
But all being said and done, the onus comes back to our own perspectives. Yes, thousands of people die in this country every day because they can’t afford proper healthcare. Millions sleep hungry every night. A large part of India still doesn’t have access to clean drinking water. And it’s a hard cold fact that if you head out to a nearby garbage place tonight, you will likely find a person skimming through the trashes to find something to eat.
We Need Solutions
However, for such realities, we can’t pull the moral cards every time. Because that does no good to no one, except make one pretentiously look intellect and caring. What the Ambanis and other rich people do with their wealth is their personal matter. We need not judgments but rather constitutionally-approved policies. The good and caring part of the world, under the guidance of development economist Jeffrey Sachs,is trying to device a Sustainable Development Goals levy to achieve all the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. This SDG Levy includes charging 1 percent of the total wealth of all the Billionaires in the world.
India needs to device similar policies to tax the richest of the richest in this country. A part of their wealth should be abided by legislation for the poor and NOT by an individual moral compass.
So, give Mukesh Ambani an escape. Stop getting mad at Rs 110 crore wedding. Besides. this certainly isn’t the last that we have seen something like this.