Alwar, Novermber, 20 : While the scion of Jodhpur's ex-royal family tied the knot in a glitzy ceremony in Jaipur on Thursday, a Dalit family in Alwar set out to show that royalty isn't just defined by royals (former).
A Balmik family, which works as scavengers, took out a royal baraat with bands, horses and elephants. The procession was led by a royal elephant. Even the bride and groom were dressed in traditional royal attire.
It was the wedding of Surendra Kumar with Poonam. The procession started from Hajuri Gate Mohalla of Alwar and went up to Swarna Road in the town. The baraatis were all also dressed in royal clothes.
"It is an honour for us and will restore the confidence of the entire community that India is changing for better," said Mahadev Chawria, groom's father. Ten to fifteen years ago, the community could not have thought of bringing out such a procession, he said. "But we have realised that there is no social hierarchy and everyone, irrespective of caste and creed, is equal," he added.
This was first time when a dalit family successfully solemnised a wedding in royal style. Similar attempts in the past had backfired as the upper caste community in the area had resisted the dalit families' taking out royal-style processions.
Recently, a dalit family in Bansur was attacked by the upper caste for performing post-wedding puja in a temple for which they had taken out a massive procession.
However, the incident failed to deter the Balmik family of Alwar, who took the procession in royal splendour despite the possibility of a backlash.
"Women from our village have gone abroad and the society is changing. We had heard a lot about royal weddings and I had requested my brothers if they could organise a similar wedding for me. I am happy that it looked like the wedding of a princess," said Poonam, the bride.
Rakesh and Kailash, her two elder brothers who are based in New Delhi said the media hype for royal weddings had inspired them to organise a similar ceremony for their sister. "It cost us a good amount of money as we had to hire buggis, horses, elephants from other districts," Rakesh said.