35-year-old Sumit Rathore and his wife Anamika, 34, both well-educated left the comforts of their cushy jobs to head towards a world of spirituality. Sumit managed his family business in his home town Neemuch and has property “worth Rs 100 crore” said their family members. His wife Anamika is a trained engineer and worked at a large mining company called Hindustan Zinc Limited before getting married.
In a week from now, couple will renounce their family and seek deeksha or vow in Jain monasticism at a ceremony to be held in Surat on September 23 by a Jain monk Sudhamargi Jain Acharya Ramlal Maharaj. At the ceremony, their hair will be plucked out and they will don white robes and will be required to cover their mouth with white cloth henceforth.
Their 3-year-old daughter Ibhya is left in the care of her grandparents. Anamika’s father Ashok Chandaliya, former district president of the BJP in Neemuch, said he would take care of his grand-daughter. “I am not against my daughter Anamika becoming a nun,” he said. Sumit’s father Rajendra Singh, who runs a factory manufacturing gunny bags for packaging cement in the town, reiterated.
The couple, who got married four years ago, is observing the vow of silence, and is cut off from their family to gradually end affection.
Sumit had announced his decision to become monk last month. Their family says that when he was asked to seek permission from his wife as is the practice in the religion, she expressed desire to become a nun herself.
Sumit and Anamika had taken the decision when their daughter was just 8 months old, Sumit’s cousin Rekha Jain told NDTV.
After initial disagreement, the couple’s relatives are proud of their decision. However, child protection officer of the area, Raghvendra Sharma doesn’t share the sentiment. “This is against the rights of the child (Ibhya). They are running away from their responsibilities… We should stop them.”
Mr Sharma added that he will ask Madhya Pradesh child protection commission to intervene in the matter.