While trolls attacked Mandira for performing the last rites, singer Sona Mohapatra and actor Mini Mathur, as well as netizens have come out in her support.

Mandira Bedi at her husband's funeralPTI
Flix Death Saturday, July 03, 2021 - 19:15

With an earthen pot in her hand, leading the bier of her late husband Raj Kaushal, a grief-stricken Mandira Bedi looked inconsolable in the images from her husband’s funeral that surfaced online on July 1. Following the untimely demise of filmmaker Raj Kaushal on June 30, support poured in from all quarters for actor and TV presenter Mandira Bedi. At the same time, she was also ridiculed by trolls for performing her husband’s last rites since it is traditionally performed by men in the family.  

Apart from being trolled for breaking the gender stereotype associated with Hindu funerals, fingers were also pointed at Mandira for her choice of clothes; a simple pair of jeans and a white tee. Several trolls attacked Mandira for breaking the Hindu traditions followed during funerals, while others resorted to moral policing, citing that her clothing was inappropriate.  

However, there were also a slew of posts from celebrities and netizens, who came out in support of Mandira. Slamming trolls, singer Sona Mohapatra wrote that instances of people commenting on Mandira’s clothes are examples of heightened stupidity. “That some people are still commenting on Mandira Bedi’s dress code or choice to carry out her husband Raj Kushal’s last rites shouldn’t surprise us. Stupidity is more abundant than any other element in our world after all ..(sic),” Sona wrote.  

Standing in solidarity with Mandira, actor Mini Mathur stated that the trolling of a grieving woman and her choice of clothing makes her sick. “Makes me sick that people are having a field day trolling a grieving woman for performing last rites on her husband instead of asking a stranger or her tiny kid. Or for not having the time to dress the way THEY imagine grieving women should dress. Fools!! Applaud her strength!(sic),” the actor wrote.  

While many have quashed trolls for their lack of compassion and empathy for scrutinising a grieving woman, the hateful comments have also paved way for discussions on women exercising their freedom to not follow regressive and patriarchal customs, without being subjected to shaming and abuse. Other instances of women performing the last rites of their family members, were also brought to the fore by netizens, who suggested that it is high time that we normalise it. 

Filmmaker Raj Kaushal, who directed movies like Shaadi Ka Laddoo and Pyaar Mein Kabhi Kabhi, passed away in the early hours of Wednesday after he suffered a heart attack. Kaushal and Mandira have two children — son Vir and daughter Tara.

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