New Delhi: Hours after it was reported that a gravestone in the name of former President KR Narayanan was spotted at a Christian cemetery in the heart of Delhi and a section of media questioned how a Hindu’s memorial came up at the cemetery, his daughters Amrita Narayanan and Chitra Narayanan told News18 in an email reply that such a controversy around a private matter was totally uncalled for.
“After the passing of our father on November 9, 2005 the state funeral and cremation according to Hindu rites took place at Karma Bhumi near Rajghat, New Delhi. Every year on his death anniversary, respects are paid at this Samadhi,” said the daughters.
“After the funeral, the ashes were distributed in four parts. One part of the urns containing the ashes were by taken by train to Haridwar where they were immersed in the Ganga by the eldest daughter.”
“The second part of the urns were accompanied by the younger daughter and taken to Kerala where the state government arranged the procession to the Bharathapuzha, a sacred river in Kerala. The ashes were immersed according to Hindu rites by Narayanan’s younger brother KR Bhaskaran, who was a close associate of the BJP.”
“Third part of the ashes were mingled with those of Narayanan’s late parents.”
“The final and a small portion of the ashes were retained by his widow Usha Narayanan, a Christian, to be buried alongside her. At her passing in 2008, this was done according to her wishes at the Prithviraj Road cemetery. This was an entirely private wish and should be respected accordingly.”
Amrita and Chitra said Narayanan was a Hindu and respected all religions equally.