Prachanda: Over Dressed for a Funeral

Muktiram Dahal, father of reigning king of Nepali communism- Prachanda, died last week after prolonged illness. He was not a public figure and very little about his life is known. His “claim to fame”, if we can say so, was his progeny.

Blogger Mila Baje has post on his demise and how his atheist son decided not to participate in religious last rites. Prachanda did not shave his head or wear dhoti- part of traditional Nepali Hindu last rites. He will also not observe the 13, 45 day and 1 year mourning and all the strict requirements regarding diet and clothing during the period. In a word, he is not going to do the religion part.

Ok, he is a committed atheist so letting go of religious rituals is fine. But does that mean ignoring Nepali cultural sensibilities?

I know he is a big shot leader and a public figure, but in a Nepali context, who wears suit to his father’s funeral? Isn’t that an overshot? I mean a simple attire would have been more appropriate. His father, after all, was a simple man who shunned limelight and remained very private- even after the Maoists’ rise to power after 2006.

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