When Mr. Ganesan Ponniah passed away, his eldest daughter, Ms. Shantini decided to do something unorthodox for her father’s funeral. She got three members of Singaporean dance group Pluspoint to accompany his funeral procession, moving together with Ganesan’s hearse (coffin-carrying vehicle).
On May 2, at about 4:30 pm, the three youths put up a traditional Hindu-inspired performance, dressed as Aghori – an extreme sect of Hindu practitioners who are often associated with cannibalism and rituals using human skulls and animal sacrifices. The group danced to a devotional Shivan song called “Shiva Shiva Shankara“. Their dancing was recorded in this video.
Shanthini and her siblings did receive some criticisms for choosing to commemorate his father’s passing in such an unorthodox manner that is not in line with Hinduism. Thankfully, the majority of people commenting on the video, as well as other Facebook posts on the funeral, were supportive of her decision.
Ms. Shantini clarified that she knew that his late father loved the song and was a strong devotee of the Hindu gods Narashima and Shiva. She desired to fulfill her father’s final wishes – stressing that there was never any intention to disrespect Hindu culture, nor to seek attention or fame.