‘BJP leaders should tonsure their heads to complete death rituals of Vajpayee’

Opposition party says the ritual has to be followed as they carried the ashes of Vajpayee

Patna: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders joining the ‘Ashthi Kalsh Yarta’ (Ashes immersion procession) of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee have got caught in a peculiar trouble — they are facing pressures from the opposition party to tonsure their heads! In Hindu culture, it’s mandatory for those carrying ashes of the dead to shave their heads to let the post-death rituals complete.

In Bihar, thousands of BJP leaders and workers have been caught on cameras taking the urns to the streets, paying floral tributes and then immersing them in the rivers. Some six rivers were chosen for immersing the ashes of the late prime minister in Bihar. But the move has left the leaders in fairly new dilemma with the opposition raising questions over their real intention.

“There is a ritual called ‘dashkarm’ (observed on the 10th day of death of a person) during which the mourning family members go for tonsuring their heads as a mark of grief and also cut their nails. The ritual is not complete until the tonsuring is performed,” Rashtriya Janata Dal vice-president Shivanand Tiwari told the media today.

Tiwari asked the BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah, to shave their heads as per the Hindu ritual. “I expect all BJP leaders, including Modi and Shah to go for tonsuring to complete the death rituals,” Tiwari demanded.

“How will they mourn the death of Vajpayee without tonsuring their heads and following the complete death rituals under Hindu culture? It will be inauspicious,” he said.

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