The incident, reported by the Indian media in November 2006, apparently took place because Aishwarya was a ‘maanglik’ (an astrological combination that indicates ill-omen) and to ensure the good health and long life of her husband, she had to first get married off to a tree.
Aishwarya had to m marrying a tree first so she could marry a rock (mince Abishek can’t act no?) https://t.co/deLwldVxSt
— Aditi Mittal (@awryaditi) September 7, 2016
It couldn’t just be any tree in her neighbourhood either. According to a November 2006 report in Hindustan Times, to ward off the ill-effects of being maanglik, Ash would have to marry either a ‘peepal’ or a ‘banana’ tree; alternatively, the same with a silver or gold idol of Lord Vishnu would do as well.
@awryaditi and just for the record… We are still looking for this alleged tree.
— Abhishek Bachchan (@juniorbachchan) September 7, 2016
An astrologer named Chandrasghekar Swami also told the paper, “Abhishek and Aishwarya were in the holy town (Varanasi) at my suggestion. I had advised both the families to perform this corrective puja at an ancient Shiva temple.”
In 2007, Rai was accused of promoting a tradition associated with the caste system and “untouchability”.
Miss Rai, a former Miss World, said to have undergone the ritual to overcome astrological differences with her then fiancé.
Lawyers representing human rights groups had filed a civil lawsuit demanding that Miss Rai, 33, and her family offer a public apology for entering into “false marriages”.
Over the last six months Miss Rai and Mr Bachchan, 30, had been spotted entering temples in the holy cities of Varanasi and Ayodhya to perform “puja” or prayer ceremonies.
Astrologers had said that Miss Rai’s astrological chart is “manglik”, or Mars-bearing, which, according to Hindu tradition, could have negative consequences for their marriage.
However, did Aishwarya really marry a tree or was it only a rumour? The Bachchan family has denied that such a ritual ever took place even as a lawsuit was filed against Aishwarya for promoting a regressive tradition.
Stand-up comedian Aditi Mittal was among those who jumped into the debate on Twitter. She took a dig at Junior Bachchan’s acting talent while she was at it.
VIDEO: When Abhishek apparently ‘insulted’ Aishwarya at an event