12,500 hopeful suitors have come forward with a desire to marry Rakhi Sawant. Her new show Rakhi Ka Swayamvar launches next month and will see the young hopefuls pitched through a series of tests until the last man standing fulfills his dream of marrying one of the most beautiful women in the world.
Based on the ancient practice of swayamvara as described most famously in the Ramayana, the show has both astonished and excited India in its audacity. The producers insist that the show is about female empowerment. “Over the past 500 years girls in India have lost the right to ask questions about who they marry,” Shailja Kejriwal of NDTV Imagine says, “I really hope this series, which is all about a strong woman choosing her own husband, will address that. It’s about empowerment.”
Rakhi comments, “I am a cultured Indian woman with good values and I have reached a stage where I need a companion with whom I can share my love, joys, sorrows and success. I want to solemnise my marriage in the presence of all my fans who have been supportive of me throughout — and what better way than getting married on national television?” She goes on to say, with some humour, that her ideal man will be a mixture of Aamir, Shahruk and Salman Khan.