The 'swayamvar' of Bollywood item girl-turned-reality TV star Rakhi Sawant has showcased India's rich cultural traditions, depicting that historically women in the country enjoyed a greater freedom than elsewhere when it came to choosing their bridegroom, the Indo-Canadians said.
Sawant (30) chose Indo-Canadian businessman, the 30 year old Elesh Parujanwala, as her bridegrooms on NDTV Imagine's reality show 'Rakhi Ka Swayamvar' on Sunday.
"The 'swayamvar' has propagated greater awareness about ancient Indian culture and heritage in this part of the globe and projected a new image of Indian women," Dr Bahusaheb Ubale, former commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission said on Tuesday.
The idea of the choosing a life partner on TV is a novel one and Sawant is probably the first girl to bring her personal life on air, Ubale said, stressing that more such shows should come up to create greater awareness about ancient Indian culture and heritage.
"It was a wonderful and memorable show that would go a long way in creating awareness about ancient Indian culture," Purnima Parujanwala, Elesh's mother said.
"It was a challenge to my son to speak in Hindi," she said.
Sawant had zeroed in on Delhi's Manas Katyal and Chittiz Jain, but finally chose Parujanwala.
The student community says that the show, which kept a large number of viewers hooked to their TV sets for a month, reminds them of the legendary 'swayamvar's of Sita and Draupadi.
"We have read in Indian religious books about Sita Swayamvar, Draupadi Swayamvar but this time we have seen Rakhi Swaymvar. It is a memorable event for every Indo-Canadian," Sakshi Sharma, a student of Humber College said.
But Lester DeSalva, an Indo-Canadian born in Maharashtra said that the complete format of show needed to be reviewed as it did not entirely adhere to the guidelines of 'swayamvar'.