A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Patna High Court against Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai for marrying trees to overcome astrological differences with her fiancé Abhishek Bachchan.
Lawyer Shruti Singh, who filed the PIL earlier this week, says the ritual promotes untouchability.
"I filed a PIL to stop such practices as reportedly conducted by actor Amitabh Bachchan for his future daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai. It is in violation of Article 17 of the Constitution, which prohibits untouchability. It also violates fundamental human rights," said Shruti.
Aishwarya is a Manglik (astrologically Mars-bearing), which is believed to have negative consequences for her impending marriage. The actress is said to have married a peepal tree at Benaras, a banana tree at a Bangalore temple and a god's idol in Ayodhya.
According to Shruti, the fact that Aishwarya had to marry the trees and the idol before marrying Abhishek, who is a non-Manglik, amounts to untouchability.
"The rituals performed by Aishwarya, Amitabh and Abhishek would only promote superstitions and blind faith among common people," Shruti, who is also a women's rights activist, told IANS.
Her PIL requests the court to issue a directive to the state government and the Bihar State Religious Trust Board (BSRTB) to stop the practice of marrying a Manglik-born bride first with a tree, god or animal prior to her marrying a non- Manglik man.
She has sought a ban on the performance of such marriages at temples in Bihar including Shitla temple in Patna, Baikatpur temple near Fatuha and the Shiva temple at Deoghar.
The activist has also demanded a public apology from the Bachchan family for asking Aishwarya to enter into such false marriages.
"An FIR should be filed against Bachchan, his wife Jaya and Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh for encouraging such practices," Shruti said.