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Here is why Tamil Nadu's 'iron lady' Jayalalithaa was buried, not cremated

Jayalalithaa Belonged To The Iyengar Community But Her Body Was Buried As Integral Part Of Dravidian Culture, Experts Said.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Gautam Lalotra | Updated on: 07 Dec 2016, 11:58:19 AM
Former Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa was laid to rest with full state honours  - File Photo

New Delhi:

Former Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa was laid to rest with full state honours on Tuesday at Marina Beach, Chennai. Thousands of big wigs and her supporters thronged to the marina beach in Chennai to pay their tributes to the AIADMK political stalwart of Tamil Nadu.

The burial of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's body instead of creamating it was a major talking point in most of the media houses and the entire nation in general.

Although Jayalalithaa belonged to the Iyengar community, her body was buried as "integral part of Dravidian culture", experts said. 

"Burial is an integral part of Dravidian culture," Ramu Manivannan, professor of political science at the University of Madras, told IANS. 

Precedences for the same have been set in the past with bodies of leading Dravidian leaders being buried, including those of her own AIADMK leaders. 

Bodies of prominent political leaders like DMK founder and Chief Minister C.N.Annadurai and AIADMK founder M.G. Ramachandran (MGR) were buried at the Marina Beach and memorials for them have come up there. Hence, there is a strong case for a memorial for Jayalalithaa coming up in the near future. 

He also cited the ancient practice of preserving the aged dead in big urns. 

AIADMK members, who are not atheists but believers, do not see Jayalalithaa as an Iyengar but their 'Amma' (mother) and beyond any caste or religion. 

Jayalalithaa's relatives did not raise any objection to the burial as along with Sasikala a once close confidante, her nephew Deepak Jayakumar performed the last rituals. 

Furthermore, though the traditional practice in Hinduism is to cremate the body of a dead person, but burial is used for holy men, saints and children below the age of three. In many Hindu communities, the body of a holy person is buried in the 'Padmasana' (Lotus Position). 

Hindus believe that burning the body to destroy it, helps the departed soul get over any residual attachment it may have developed for the deceased person. 

Holy men and saints are however believed to have attained a level of detachment that makes cremation unnecessary, while for children, it is considered that the soul has not stayed in the body long enough to develop any attachment. 

(With inputs from Agency)

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First Published : 07 Dec 2016, 11:32:00 AM