For ‘moksha’, Jayalalithaa’s kin re-perform last rites as per Hindu traditions

Jayalalithaa's relatives re-performed the departed Chief Minister’s last rites at Paschima Vahini on the banks of Cauvery River in the holy town of Srirangapatna on Tuesday.
Jayalalithaa’s kin re-perform last rites as per...
India TV Politics Desk Chennai December 14, 2016 13:47 IST

Jayalalithaa's relatives re-performed the departed Chief Minister’s last rites at Paschima Vahini on the banks of Cauvery River in the holy town of Srirangapatna on Tuesday.

They expressed apprehension that her soul would not attain 'moksha' (emancipation from the cycle of death and birth) because she was buried instead of being cremated as per strict Hindu customs.

According to a Times of India report, the last rites were performed by chief priest Ranganath Iyengar, who cremated a doll, meant to be her replica. He said that Jayalalithaa should have been cremated to help her soul attain ‘moksha’. 

Meanwhile, Jayalalithaa’s step-brother Varadaraju, who led the rituals, felt her party should have honoured her beliefs.

“Had my sister been an atheist, she would not have visited temples, participated in Hindu festivals nor observed Hindu traditions. Why did her party take the decision to bury her? Why did they keep us away from her last rites,” Times of India quoted Varadaraju as saying. 

After Jayalalithaa’s burial on December 6, doubts were raised about the rituals not being performed as per Hindu customs. 

Some relatives felt as Jayalalithaa was a staunch believer of Hindu rituals, her last rites should have been performed as per Iyengar customs.

An Iyengar, Jayalalithaa was the head of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), a Dravidian political party which had a deep-rooted ideology in atheism. 

“This is part of the Dravidian politics. Dravidian politics has denounced Hindu and Brahmin rituals and follow atheism. Even MGR was buried. The burial of Jayalalithaa is in keeping up with the precept of Dravidian politics although she was a practicing Hindu,” Radhika Ramaseshan, a senior journalist and political commentator, had said.

The burial of leaders of Dravidian movement allowed followers to build memorial for them. Considering Jayalalithaa's cult following, a grand memorial for her, besides MGR's, is in the offing. 

 
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