mid-day editorial: There must be dignity even in grief

Updated: Dec 07, 2016, 07:44 IST | mid-day correspondent |

After over 75 days of praying for her good health and a rather tense Monday, Apollo Hospital, Chennai, declared people’s CM and AIADMK chief J Jayalalitha dead at midnight

After over 75 days of praying for her good health and a rather tense Monday, Apollo Hospital, Chennai, declared people’s CM and AIADMK chief J Jayalalitha dead at midnight. While it’s a loss for the entire country, it’s important that supporters of the late leader refrain from extreme reactions.

People should display more maturity to help authorities ensure a fitting tribute is offered to the icon. It’s difficult to fathom why elaborate security arrangements need to be placed when a celebrity is ailing. Grieving is understandable, but it has to be done without causing inconvenience to others.

We recall how in November 2012, Mumbai was on edge during Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray’s final hours. The city, which was already teetering on the brink of violence, made it difficult even for the authorities to declare the passing away of the popular leader.

In 2014, 18 people died — most of them due to suffocation — and 40 people were injured in a stampede after thousands gathered to pay their last respects to the spiritual leader of the Dawoodi Bohra community,

Sye­d­na Mohammed Burhanuddin. He was 102 when he passed away.

Restraint on the fact of adversity is the need of the hour. There is little dignity in stoning public transport, damaging store fronts and, generally, terrorising the masses. Not only is it infantile, but also illegal.

Things follow a tiresomely familiar pattern in India — whenever an icon is on his/her deathbed, a cloak of secrecy pervades till adequate security arrangements are put in place. Meanwhile, rumour mills add to the atmosphere of uncertainty and tre­p­idation and mayhem greets the final announcement. This misplaced demonstration of sorrow must stop.

May the departed rest in peace, and may the others live in peace too.

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