Bollywood actor and Padma Shri recipient Sridevi was accorded a state funeral on February 28 as per the instructions of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. The reply was given to Mumbai based RTI activist Anil Galgali’s query to Right to Information Act (RTI) who had questioned Sridevi’s state funeral.
Galgali had approached Maharashtra’s General Administration Department (GAD) to sought details of state funeral, which was accorded to Sridevi. Apart from this, the activist had enquired as to who is authorised to grant state honours. The GAD revealed that the power to decide state honour lies with the chief minister of the state.
The GAD, in its reply, even said that the CM’s office had given a verbal order to grant state funeral for Sridevi. Also, a government order for the same was given to the Mumbai suburban collector and Mumbai’s police commissioner on February 26, 2018.
The GAD said that in the past six years, total 41 people were given state honours including former chief ministers Vilasrao Deshmukh and A R Antulay, Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray, Vipassana Guru Satyanarayan Goenka and Dawoodi Bohra community’s spiritual head Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin.
As per a report in The Outlook, Brijesh Singh, Director General of DGIPR, the state government’s publicity wing said, “There are rules as to who should get a state funeral, and the chief minister can use his discretion in the matter. The rules also give discretion to the CM regarding granting the honour of state funerals to certain dignitaries not in this list. Padma awardees are concerned to be dignitaries who may be accorded state funeral at the discretion of the CM.”
Few days back, even Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leader Raj Thackeray had questioned the BJP led government’s decision to grant the Bollywood actress a state funeral by saying, “Sridevi was a great actor, but what had she done for the country that her body was wrapped in the tri-colour?”
Sridevi died in her hotel room at a Dubai due to accidental drowning on February 24, 2018.