Bollywood Royalty Welcomes Princess

 

Last week, the tweet arrived, and Bollywood fans around the world collectively exhaled: “it’s a girl.”

Actror Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, often called the world’s most beautiful woman, welcomed her new daughter. Proud papa, Abishek Bachan, a renowned film star in his own right, lost little time in sending out the first tweet, followed shortly thereafter by his dad—Bollywood’s very own Amitabh Bachchan.

To shed some perspective, to India this was equivalent to waiting for Brad and Angie’s baby.

The Bachchan family is Bollywood royalty. Amitabh has been a huge star since the 1970s. He became known as India’s angry young rebel—think James Dean.  Later he married actor Jaya Bhaduri. His son is a star; his daughter-in-law is a star and a former Miss World. In a nutshell, when it comes to celebrity pedigree, baby Bachchan is simply unbeatable.

It was big news when word got out earlier that Abishek hoped for a daughter. Sex determination is banned in India—a byproduct of the dowry tradition where women are expected to bring money, goods, and estate into the marriage. Although dowries were outlawed in 1961 due to the fact they led to the abortion and murder of little girls due to the enormous financial burden placed on families, the tradition continues in the more remote regions of India and has led to a disproportionate ratio of men and women.

It’s exciting to think one little girl could profoundly affect the attitude of a nation. For now, the Bachchans are closely guarding their little princess. The family has leveraged its influence to ensure the media remains respectful of their privacy. According to NPR, the Indian media has been instructed not to run any story that exceeds 90 seconds and no photos have been released.

Although, the unnamed Bachchan is not India’s first celebrity baby, she has certainly demanded the most attention.  Like the offspring of Hollywood celebs, people are obsessing—will her name be ridiculously unforgettable? Will she be a poster child for benevolent acts of goodwill? Or will a life of privilege and indulgence land her a starring role alongside Dr. Drew?

The combination of cute kids and star-power seems is irresistible in India as it is here, and, for better or worse, baby Bachchan is at the centre of her very own media frenzy. Only time will tell how India’s most splendid celebrity baby handles the attention.

Author: NitaNaidoo

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