Bollywood actress Mandira Bedi broke away from tradition and performed the last rites of her filmmaker husband Raj Kaushal. As per Hindu custom, a close male family member of the deceased person is expected to do the final rites, and not a woman.
Several pictures of Bedi carrying out the rituals — including carrying an earthen pot filled with water and lighting her husband’s funeral pyre — have been doing the rounds.
Kaushal died in Mumbai following a cardiac arrest on June 30. He was 49 and his death has come as a shock to his colleagues and friends in Bollywood.
It isn’t the first time that a public figure has chosen to shrug gender-coded religious rituals. In 2018, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s foster daughter Namita Kaul Bhattacharya performed his last rites for the leader.
For Kaushal’s funeral, several actors including Ronit Roy, Huma Qureshi, Ashish Chowdhry and Dino Morea were seen attending the last rites.