J Jayalalithaa, the late chief minister of Tamil Nadu and the leader of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), passed away on 5 December and was buried next to her mentor, MG Ramachandran, the legendary film star and politician who founded the AIADMK.
According to some reports however, members of Jayalalithaa’s family were not satisfied with the burial and wanted to perform a ‘cremation’ for her again. They were worried that her soul would not attain moksha or liberation if her last rites were not performed according to Hindu customs.
A report in The Times of India said that, on Tuesday, Jayalalithaa’s relatives performed the last rites, followed by a ‘cremation’ on the banks of the Cauvery river at Srirangapatna in Karnataka.
As Jayalalithaa’s body had already been buried, the priests made a cloth doll that represented Amma and cremated it. Jayalalithaa’s step-brother, Varadaraju, said that the her family should have been consulted about her burial and insisted that she was a follower of Hinduism.
“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.”