What was Aradhana Samdariya’s mother thinking?

This post isn’t about any particular religion.

Almost every religion endorses fasting in some form or the other. In prominent religions, during the ‘holy months’ of fasting, young children are made to fast and awarded for their ability to stay hungry in the name of God. The praise and accolades that the child recieves, conditions the young mind to believe that thier acts are justified.

(If you haven’t read about Aradhana. Click here.)

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Aradhana Samdariya’s last public appearance. Flanked by her parents. It is almost as if they are holding her up for support.

Did you know? 

– This wasn’t the first time Aradhana fasted.
Prior to the 68-day fast, Aradhana had undertaken a 34 day fast that she had completed.
(Importance of fasting in Jains)

– She couldn’t go to school after the 24th day of fasting
She wasn’t keeping good health. Her mother knew this. She allowed her daughter to stay home and continue the fast.

Two of Aradhana’s aunts are doctors
Despite this, her health wasn’t monitored. Instead of admitting her to the hospital after the fast ended, they took her out on a chariot amongst 100s of people who were part of a special procession for her.

– Aradhana’s health was failing. They didn’t resort to medical assistance
How did the mother allow this? She knew her child wouldn’t make it. She allowed her child to die – why?

What was Manisha Samdariya thinking?

Her parents, Lakshmichand and Manisha Samdariya were extremely proud of their daughter. Every day, their starving daughter was dressed like a doll and religious texts revolving around the letter of the day were read out to her. They even printed a fancy card to invite the world to celebrate their daughter’s 68-day fast. When she died, they celebrated her death by leading a procession called ‘Shobha Yatra’.

Aradhana Samdariya death due to fasting
13 year-old, Aradhana Samdariya died after a 68-day fast

Was it religious fanaticism? 
Media reports say that her mother was aware of the consequences of the fast. Despite this, she allowed her child to continue.
My question: Did she eat each of the 68 days?
Yes? How did she allow herself to eat while her child was fasting? Why didn’t she feed the child anything when the child’s health was failing?

Was she influenced by the religious leader/priest who proposed the suggestion?
According to the media, the family was undergoing financial losses. The fast was a way to save the family fortune and turn the losses into profits.
My question: Which of my readers would willingly sacrifice their children for the sake of some money or religious satisfaction?

Aradhana isn’t the only one.

My life revolves around my children. Yes, I am a strong, independent, working woman, but my children can make me go weak in the knees. Isn’t this the case with each and every mother that you know? Irrespective of whether she is working or not, a mother’s top priority is her children. Nothing else is more important.
Giving birth to a child automatically means that we, as mothers are responsible for the child’s well-being and security.

Through this post I ask you:

Is Manisha hidden within you?

Unknowingly, mothers push their children into following religious norms. Maynot be to an extreme, however, parents do influence child’s religious beliefs. Each parent knows what is best for their child. I leave it here.

I would love to know your views. Do let me know in the comments section. If you think this post touched a chord, do share it with your friends. 

—– Penned by Mayura Amarkant

This is my Day 9 post for Ultimate Blogging Challenge  #DailyChatter through the amazing @BlogChatter community of bloggers.

——-

This is my 3rd post in the #Parenting series. Here are the other two:

  1. #Parenting: How did we train my elder son to receive his sibling?
  2. #Parenting: How to prepare your child for puberty?

 

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Invitation card for the procession that celebrated the completion of the fast. Source: Facebook
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43 comments

  1. Ridiculous! What is annoying is these parents (both mother and father) ‘allowed’ their 13-year-old daughter for 64 days of fasting and dying but would not have allowed a 26-year-old to marry on her choice. Too much hypocrisy? I am not sure if it is only about religion or was there some money involved as well. I won’t be surprised if it was all done to collect money from the religious rally. Either way, complete nonsense and senseless behaviour.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. On one hand we read with disgust about starvation deaths in Palghar and on the other a child from a well to do family is allowed to starve to death. And that too for a few pennies more. Religion today is made redundant by misinterpretation. The true essence of religion is lost in following fake religious practises. Remembered dialogue from OMG “dharam ya to woh insan ko bebas banata hai ya phir aatankwadi “.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mother or not this is plain cruelty. What does a 13 year old know… that sweet innocent girl made a victim of religious fanaticism… it’s inhumane. All those involved should be institutionalized… no one in the right mind can do this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. First of all, the parents and the priest who brainwashed should be handcuffed and arrested. The problem goes deeper than that and we must kill such thoughts that destroying lives and rationality is losing significance. Which religion teaches such a heinous crime? The parents should be ashamed of themselves for being influenced by irrationality. When we see social activists like Dabholkar murdered, it provides enough fodder for thought on the system perpetuating such sins.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad you said this. Have been saying this on social media since I saw the news yesterday. Horrible horrible parenting. And there are still idiots who defend it, saying it’s the girls choice and we don’t know for sure if her Dehydration and heart attack was because of this… Makes me want to slap such people. Religious fanaticism exists. Just because one religion has more does not mean we avoid talking of it in our own. This, in my book, is a murder committed by parents who deliberately did not stop the fast even when the child got worse and worse. To hell with a religious belief that does such things

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m increasingly coming to believe that religion is completely pointless. All it does is divide, provoke fanaticism, and create discord. Balance and common sense go flying out the window when a “Godman” gives his diktat. And religious sentiments are becoming more fragile by the minute. This is shameful – forget about a mother, as a human being it’s shameful that people would willingly let someone starve to death and come witness it as part of a “celebratory procession”.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is horrific! Which God or religion allows such a human sacrifice?!
    Imagine, this 13 year old child died before her life could even begin, with her family watching , literally helping her die!😢

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is the one of the worst things I’ve read in the name of religion. As far as I am concerned I believe in introducing my child to our religious rituals but if she wants to follow it is completely her wish.
    A simple thing like I personally refrain from eating non-veg on certain days of the week or month due to religious beliefs but haven’t ever imposed this belief on my child. She’s got complete freedom to eat anything that she would like in moderation if course.

    Like

  9. In my opinion it’s far deep rooted than just religious fanaticism…

    This is simply as result of – lack of bonding with your child. When parents put other things before their children… be it Money, drugs, affairs, religion, abusive relation with husband, parents seeking celebrity status through kids, selling children to sheiks to save themselves from starvation, child labour – list is endless It’s all because of some issue within themselves….

    And lack of bonding – many have children without really wanting to – or too early or simply don’t get a chance to bond with their children due to other commitments or life situations. And that’s when children suffer most – sadly…

    That’s when we appreciate the social services system that could have intervened not sure how that works in India or even if we have one in place yet. The police should have intervened and stand by those who can’t fight for themselves

    Animal rights activists would have jumped right in if it was a cow or goat

    Who’s fighting for children’s rights in India I wonder …. just because it’s parents they shouldn’t be allowed to do just anything to their kids right?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. i dont think there is manisha hidden in me as i would make my child a good human being and that will be my biggest achievement . rather than making a good hindu , muslim or any xyz, why can’t we make our children good human beings

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I feel it’s not only the mother but also the father who is responsible for this. they just can’t take a sabbatical in such situations. more than that, the parents ND relatives brain. wash the kids in name of religion. which should stop. m afraid nothing would be done going forward

    Liked by 1 person

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