12 June, 2021

Last Rights

By avoiding the usual signifiers of grief, Kavita Karkare let her will win

Last Rights
Kavita Karkare, slain Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare's wife, did not meet Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi when he dropped by at her home to offer condolence. Two days later, an image of dignified restraint, she came before the eyes of the tearful police force, friends and thousands of Mumbaikars who came to bid goodbye to her martyr husband. In both her actions, she made a choice. Blink, and you will miss the inspiration in that choice that needs to be emphasised.

In a society where grief over death is rarely a private practice, where formalised mourning rituals encourage families and communities to survive loss by reliving it through loud expressions, where bereaved women are expected to wear white and look distraught, Kavita Karkare refused to mount her sorrow publicly. The light had gone from her eyes, leaving behind an opaque curtain of despondence. But she held through, unknowingly conveying the power of personal will. Dressed in a red and light brown sari, a small bindi on her forehead, a red bangle on one of her arms, her...

More from Shefalee Vasudev

Latest Magazine

June 21, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section