A senior priest of the Jacobite Church today criticised a local church’s refusal to allow burial of Madhu Jyotsna Akhouri, grandmother of Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra last, at the church where she was baptised, describing it as against the Christian tradition.
Bishop of the Kottayam Diocese of Jacobite Syrian Christian Church, Thomas Mar Themothios, said the decision of the committee governing St John’s Church, Kumarakom, not to fulfill the wishes of Akhouri was “not humane”. She wanted to be buried at St John’s Church as she had been baptised there.
“Burial of a dead person is a sacred act as per Christian tradition. Taking a decision contrary to it is not humane and also against the tradition of Christianity,” the Bishop told reporters here.
It was following the Bishop’s intervention that the mortal remains of Akhouri was laid to rest at the cemetery of a church at nearby Ponkunnam.
Talking to reporters in Patna, Priyanka had yesterday called the church’s decision to not allow the burial as “unfortunate”.
Akhouri, 94, a freedom fighter, social activist and a former MLA, had breathed her last on June 3 in Mumbai.
As she had expressed her wish to be be laid to rest in her home state, Kerala, her body was brought here for the last rites.
A number of relatives, including Priyanka, had flown down from Mumbai to perform the last rites.
Born as Mary in Kavalappara family at Kumarakom here, Madhu Jyotsna Akhouri had gone to Bihar as a nurse and later married Dr Akhouri.