Aradhana Samdariya died because of a religious ritual that was forced upon her by the practices of an entire community.
The practice of Sallekhana or Santhara by Jains is carried out in stages, by gradually giving up solid food, liquid food, and finally, even water.
While suicide is the unnatural and untimely termination of life, Santhara is the peaceful and gradual path to the extinguishing of life. It is not unnatural or sudden.
Some essential wisdom on the danger of taking scripture too literally.
A secular society and polity does not mean abandoning religion. It means the religious identity of an Indian has to give way to the primary identity of a citizen. And the state has to guarantee the rights that come with this identity, as the rights of citizenship.
The author marvels at a sculpture of Varaha nuzzling the earth’s breast, then runs into three Muslim men quenching a cow’s thirst, and wonders why we see things the way we do.