Recently I came across a quote on Twitter which said, “If you’re not a socialist at 20, you’ve no heart. If you’re socialist at 40, you’ve no brain”. As someone in mid 30s, I can very much relate to it. It may also help explain some of the media headlines and reaction by left to wedding organized by the richest man in India. Last week, Mukesh Ambani who is worth around $47 Billion arranged a big fat Indian wedding for his daughter. The wedding was attended by top 1% of top 1% celebrities from world over. Beyoncé performed at the wedding. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and John Kerry danced to the tune of Bollywood numbers.
There are no official #s of how much the wedding cost. According to some estimates, it cost ₹700 Crores ($100 Million). There are lot of left leaning celebrities who are criticizing Ambani family for such spending. Their argument is this money should have been used for social causes. Whether their anger is real or its case of sour grapes (as they were not on the guest list), is topic for a separate debate.
But at outset, why are people questioning and criticizing Ambani family for spending their own money. They’ve earned that money. They’re one of the highest tax payers in India. Their companies employ close to 185,000 people. Let’s look at some of the things on which Ambani family spent money during wedding. Following is by no means an all-inclusive list.
- Invitation cards
- Hotels in Udaipur
- Hotels in Mumbai
- Flight for round-trip from Mumbai to Udaipur
There are multiple entities in these industries who got opportunities to work and offer their services. These companies hired / employed hundreds if not thousands of people. They created lot of real jobs. Essentially the Ambani wedding provided $100 Million stimulus to Indian economy. This is direct impact. With different companies and individuals getting part of $100 Million pie, they would spend that money creating secondary and tertiary impact. This has been a good boost to Indian economy. During Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, British economy got an estimated stimulus of close to $1.4 Billion. In an era where GDPs of G8 countries are growing in 2% range, these wedding are making real impact providing opportunities.
If this uncalled criticism of Ambani family continues, Mr. Ambani may decide to arrange wedding of his remaining kids outside India. If that happens, it would be a real loss to Indian economy. Countries who get to host the wedding are going to get economic boost. Hope common sense prevails and left celebrities learn their lesson.
PS – people who are calling for Ambani family to donate their money, should know Ambani’s donated 3 meals a day to 5100 people for 4 days.