A tale of two cremations of former Prime Ministers 

A tale of two cremations of former Prime Ministers 

Wretched Congress ill-treated PVN even after his death; PVN’s cremation was ignominious and heart-rending where-as BJP gave a majestic and befitting farewell to Atal Bihari Vajpayee

 

Meticulously-arranged, dignified and decent cremation is what we need to give even to our worst enemies. After killing Ravana, Lord Ram is believed to have told Lakshman and Vibheeshana to cremate Lanka Naresh in a befitting manner. Similarly, Lord Krishna is said to have told the Pandavas to have a decent and dignified funeral to Duryodhana.

This has been the culture and tradition of Bharat since time immemorial.

The meticulously-arranged, dignified, teary-eyed yet composed and majestic manner in which the funeral procession as well as the last rites of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee were held has been widely appreciated by millions of Indians across the globe.

The gesture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party President Amit Shah as well as Union Ministers and chief ministers to walk along the hearse (vehicle carrying the body of the former Prime Minister) from BJP Central Office to the banks of Yamuna, a distance of about six Kms has stumped the people as well as Modi’s opponents.

Just compare this with the manner in which the mortal remain of former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao was treated. Shabby is too anemic a word to describe the approach and attitude of the Congress leadership to the man who was instrumental in successfully ushering economic reforms. PVN was instrumental in ensuring a paradigm shift in economic reforms.

The hearse van carrying the body of PVN was made to park outside the AICC office for more than an hour, awaiting the permission of the then President Sonia Gandhi to enter the office premises.

After much dilly-dallying, PVN’s son was told to take the body to Hyderabad for cremation – the logic was that cremation must be conducted where the person is born! Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi were born in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh and Rajiv Gandhi was born in Mumbai. But where were they cremated? Lutyen’s Delhi! Why this double standard towards a non-family Congress Prime Minister?

I don’t mind if I am seen as a cruel and communal bigot but still I would like to ask this logical question. Where will Sonia Gandhi’s cremation take place? In the place where she was born or in Lutyen’s Delhi? Congress leadership has no moral courage to answer this question.

I don’t mind if I am seen as a cruel and communal bigot but still I would like to ask this logical question. Where will Sonia Gandhi’s cremation take place? In the place where she was born or in Lutyen’s Delhi? Congress leadership has no moral courage to answer this question.

The ashes of Pandit Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were immersed in Allahabad and Varanasi. It was also strewn on the Himalayas from a special IAF helicopter. Did the Congress party treated Lal Bahadur Shastri and PVN? No. Why? Because Shastri and PVN did not belong to the first family!

Let’s see how arrangements for Vajpayee’s funeral procession and last rites were made.

Modi asked three Union Ministers to stay put in AIIMS and oversee the carrying of the body to No. 6, Krishna Menon Marg Residence, the place Vajpayee stayed. Then Modi asked three ministers to make arrangements at the residence for the dignitaries to pay their last respects.

Meanwhile, Modi and Amit Shah instructed party office bearers and two Union Ministers to make arrangements in the Central Office to keep the body of Vajpayee for the party workers and public to pay homage the next day. Two ministers and two office bearers were entrusted the responsibility to monitor the movement of body from former PM’s residence to BJP Central Office.

Modi also dispatched three Union Ministers to Smriti Sthal on the banks of Yamuna to make arrangements for the last rites as well as the visit of hundreds of dignitaries including some from abroad. Separate seating arrangements were made according to the status of the VVIPs and VIPs.

Narendra Modi was so thoughtful to get all these things done in-spite of being in deep sorrow, pain and agony after having lost his mentor.

Modi ensured that he stay put in Smriti Sthal till the fire engulfs the pyre and body is reduced to ashes. This aspect need to be highlighted and emphasized because the media showed the half-burnt body of P.V.Narasimha Rao, in Hyderabad!

While all top-ranking leaders of the RSS,starting from Mohan Bhagwat and millions of party cadre were present for Vajpayee’s funeral, hardly scores of party workers turned up at the cremation of P.V. Narasimha Rao. The Congress party and the government headed by Pandit Nehru insulted Dr Bhima Rao Ambedkar also. Nehru refused to accord permission for the cremation of Ambedkar in Delhi. The body of the founding-father of the Constitution was brought to Dadar in Bombay and cremated.

The party that cannot give a proper, decent and dignified cremation and last rites to its leader deserves to be thrown to the dustbin of history – lock, stock and barrel – once again with much more intensity and anger so that it reaches a point of no return.

By S.A. Hemantha Kumar

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