An Indian diamond heiress has opted to become a nun and give up her material wealth, but her diamond magnate parents have come under fire for allowing it.
The eldest child of diamond merchant Danesh and his wife, Ami Sanghvi, Devanshi, just renounced her earthly riches to take up the nun’s habit.
The family observes Jainism, one of the oldest religions in the world, and it is unusual for young children to give up material goods, according to the BBC.
Devanshi received honors during a four-day ceremony to proclaim her new career, during which she was transported by an elephant. Then, on January 18th, in the company of her parents, she took renunciation vows.
She went to a shrine to swap her beautiful clothes for a simple white cotton dress after having all her hair plucked. After the ceremony, she was transferred to a monastery because she could no longer live with her parents.
She is a nun now and is unable to remain at home because her parents are no longer her parents. The life of a Jain nun is extremely austere. She will no longer be able to use any form of transportation, she will have to sleep on the floor under a white sheet, and she won’t be able to eat after sunset, according to a family friend named Kirti Shah.
Devanshi’s parents are well known for being devout believers, and close acquaintances claim that since she was a young child, she has been accustomed to spiritual practices. She has also never gone to a restaurant or a mall, watched television, or gone anywhere else where people congregate in public.
Despite the Jain community’s support, there has been considerable opposition because of her young age and others asking why her parents didn’t wait until she was an adult before making the decision.
She’s a child, what does she understand about all this? asked Mr. Shah, who was invited to attend the ceremony but chose not to. Even choosing which college path to attend takes children until they are 16 years old. How can they decide on something that will affect them for the rest of their lives?
Additionally, the family was charged with violating their daughter’s rights and claimed that the government ought to have intervened.
Legally, 18 is the age at which a person can make their own decisions. Until then, an adult, such as her parents, must decide on her behalf and weigh whether doing so is in her best interests. And it is a breach of the child’s rights if that choice prevents her from receiving an education and engaging in leisure activities, according to activist Professor Mehta.