Religious elders should learn to respect grief

Updated: Dec 27, 2018, 05:36 IST | mid-day correspondent | Mumbai

The crux is that those spewing hate on social media are slamming Danish Zehen for what they call his 'un-Islamic' lifestyle, which was singing, dancing and performing on social media

Dead YouTuber Danish Zehen's family says that zealots are forcing them to upload a message on his channel saying he chose the wrong path and was punished. The YouTuber who died just days ago in a car crash in Vashi, may be unable to rest in peace. His family is being troubled, instead of being given space and time to process their grief and pray for his departed soul. The crux is that those spewing hate on social media are slamming Danish Zehen for what they call his 'un-Islamic' lifestyle, which was singing, dancing and performing on social media.

To make things worse two maulanas visited the family and denounced his youngster's lifestyle and asked Danish's grieving mother to upload a video on his social media accounts, to warn other youths against following his path. It is shocking that these so-called learned maulanas think it fit to worry a family that is still coming to terms with the loss of a 21 year-old son. It is not up to them to decide whether this boy went against his religion or not. If they think he did, they need not watch any of his social media uploads and should counsel the young people in their own families against following what they call his lifestyle.

They certainly cannot impose their views on others and have no right to use the family as messengers, for what they think is right or wrong. These extremist maulanas need to be stopped by their own community, instead of spewing their hate on the family. Unfortunately one of the prices of fame, even on social media, is that the spotlight is on the family even in times of great tragedy. His family is in the glare of all and sundry even while they grieve. Let them grieve and process this loss with dignity, grace and most importantly, space.

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