Baby, light my fire

…..as her father had no son, she had
every right to light the funeral pyre…..Opposing one and all, she finally
lit the funeral pyre of her father, Ajay Yadav…..”I will just
not perform all the rites but also allow some of my hair to be cut”……

Simple equation for the 21st century: tweak the theology(s) and make all clauses gender neutral. And with that excuse out of the way, son preference will disappear (hopefully). And yes, Viking funerals are classy (but we suspect…not sustainable).

Truth be told, we sympathize with Arya Samaj people who claim not to believe in caste, rituals and idolatry. But then we also feel that people should be free to follow the path that suits them. However girls must have justice and they must be honored. Otherwise, forget about that thing called society.
……………………….

She
may be in the eye of a storm for lighting the funeral pyre of her
father ignoring objections from her close relatives and immediate
neighbours on Saturday, but Shalini, a Class XII student, remained
unrepentant.


She claims that as her father had no son, she had
every right to light the funeral pyre. Opposing one and all, she finally
lit the funeral pyre of her father, Ajay Yadav, on Saturday. Now, she
is determined to go ahead with the rest of the ‘shhradh’. “I will just
not perform all the rites but also allow some of my hair to be cut,” she
says.

An alcoholic, Ajay Yadav, breathed his last at his small
house in Maranga locality on the outer fringe of Purnia town after
protracted illness on Saturday leaving behind his wife, Mira Sinha and
two daughters, Rohini and Shalini. Mira Sinha is an anganwadi sevika
since 2007 while Rohini is married to Ravi Kumar in Jamalpur in Munger
district.

Though close relatives and neighbours did everything
possible to stop Shalini from lighting the pyre quoting Hindu
scriptures, she went ahead with it. Her close relatives and immediate
neighbours did not go to the cremation ghat as a mark of opposition. 

Now
the same people are doing everything in their power to stop Shalini
from going ahead with the rest of the rites. “They are preventing the
local pundits and thakur from performing ‘shhradh’ and related rites,”
Shalini told local reporters at her house on Sunday. “But, if they are
bent on such mischief, I will bring pundits and others from outside,”
she said. “What crime have I done if I lit the funeral pyre of my father
and want to observe the rites,” she says with a tinge of defiance.

Quoting the last wish of Yadav, his close relatives, however, maintain
that he always wanted his nephew to perform the last rites. Ajay Yadav
was always shabbily treated by his wife, two daughters and even his
son-in-law, they insinuate. This is, however, strongly disputed by Mira
Sinha who tied the nuptial knot with Yadav in 1994 in spite of stiff
opposition from relatives. It was an inter-caste marriage.

A
small piece of land has been left behind by Yadav, averred Mira Sinha
before newsmen. “My husband had five brothers and some of them have
already forcibly grabbed a small piece of land,” she said.

Meanwhile, Purnia Mahila Morcha chief Nutan Anand, who called on the
bereaved members on Sunday, has assured them of all possible help, even
promising to approach the district administration for providing security
to them. 

…………………………..
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regards