There is a trend, one that has existed for quite some time now, without courting controversy, of international (non-Indian) celebrities either proclaiming public allegiance to the Hindu religion or, for reasons of their own, deciding to marry according to the traditions and rituals prescribed by that same religion.
Some of the more famous, in recent times at least, celebrities include British actress Elizabeth Hurley (who married British-Indian entrepreneur Arun Nayar in 2007, in the Indian city of Jodhpur), American musician Katy Perry (who married British comedian Russell Brand in 2010, in the state of Rajasthan) and American actor couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (who, according to a Telegraph report, were married in 2010, also in Jodhpur); these couples, were married in accordance with the Hindu religion and, in so doing, must have accepted a certain portion of the values and beliefs that go with such a ritual.
However, both celebrity couples; Elizabeth Hurley and Arun Nayar, and Katy Perry and Russell Brand divorced after almost three years and fourteen months of being married respectively.
The point here is not so much that celebrity marriages in Rajasthan tend to break-up. The question here is, instead - why do non-Indian celebrities (even if they profess to be practicing Hindus, they must certainly, for something so supposedly eternal as a marriage, be more comfortable within the confines of their native social and cultural spheres) choose to be married in India, and particularly Rajasthan.
While the most remarkable feature of the Hindu faith is its ability to allow people not born to the religion to be a part of it, it could be argued that particular feature must be protected by all those who choose to be a part of it.
Expressing disappointment over the divorce announcements of Perry and Brand, Rajan Zed, the President of the Universal Society of Hinduism, said, in a statement that since the couple had sought and followed Hindu rituals and traditions for their marriage, they could perhaps have taken the bond a little more seriously, adding that marriage, in the Hindu culture, was an important "samaskar (sacrament)".
"If Hollywood and other celebrities opted for Hindu wedding, they should be prepared to adhere to the commitment, devotion, responsibility, sanctity, morals, etc., which were attached to it. There were reasons behind Hindus as a group having one of the lowest divorce rates in the world," he said.