Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Relatives perform Jayalalithaa’s last rites again, as per Hindu customs this time

Like Dravidian leaders Periyar, Annadurai and MGR, Jayalalithaa was buried and not cremated as per Hindu customs.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
December 14, 2016 1:43:39 pm
jayalalithaa, amma, jayalalithaa death, jayalalithaa funeral, amma memorial, amma buried, amma funeral, amma last rites, jayalalithaa brother, jayalalithaa niece, jayalalithaa burial, jayalalithaa cremation, jayalalithaa buried, jayalalithaa last rites, chennai, jayalalithaa dies, jayalalithaa news, india news, indian express news Chennai: Students of Everwin School take part in a candlelight vigil to pay tribute to the late former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa at their school premises in Chennai on Thursday. (Source: PTI Photo)

Upset over AIADMK’s decision to bury J Jayalalithaa instead of cremating her, the former Tamil Nadu chief minister’s family carried out her last rites once again on Tuesday — as per the Hindu customs this time. According to a Times of India report, Jayalalithaa’s step-brother Varadaraju led the rituals at Paschima Vahini  in Srirangapatna. Varadaraju raised questions over the party’s decision to bury Jayalalithaa despite the fact that she had been a believer unlike other Dravidian leaders who had been buried too. Some of the other relatives of the AIADMK leader took part in her last rites that involved cremation of a doll supposed to be her replica.

Earlier, the decision to bury Jayalalithaa, revered as ‘Amma’ in Tamil Nadu, was explained by a senior government secretary. “She was not an Iyengar for us,” he said. “She was beyond any caste or religious identity. Even most of all the Dravidian leaders, including Periyar, Annadurai and MGR, were all buried and we do not have a precedent of consigning their body to flames even after death. So, we bury them with sandalwood and rose water,” the official had told the IndianExpress.com.

However, some of the political analysts believe there was more to this burial than what met the eye. “Since she was a believer, it is obvious that people expect her being cremated after death. But they need a blood relative to light the funeral pyre. The only blood relative Jayalalithaa had here is Deepa Jayakumar (daughter of Jayakumar, Jayalalithaa’s late brother). It is obvious that Sasikala clan did not want Deepa anywhere near the funeral procession fearing a potential challenge,” said a political analyst who has observed the burial of many Tamil Nadu leaders.

Since Dravidian leaders are mostly atheists denouncing god and similar symbols, the burial of the leaders allows followers to remember them in the form of a memorial.

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