BHUBANESWAR: Writer, politician and journalist Arun Shourie said that he supports the concept of euthanasia but believes that there should be rules in place so that people don’t misuse it.
He believes it’s important to take decisions about one’s death much in advance, when we are of stable mind, “We shouldn’t burden our relatives or spouses with the decision about our death. When we are all of sound mind, we should decide what we would do in a situation where someone has to decide whether we should live or die. By making the decision ourselves, we allow our relatives to feel like they did the right thing.”
In a conversation with journalists Kaveree Bamzai and Daniel Thimmayya at the The New Indian Express‘ Dakshin Literary Festival 2020, Shourie says that Buddha laid great emphasis on contemplating death, “He said it was important to observe a body in different stages of decay. After a day, a month, a year, till ten years later when it becomes dust.”
In his latest book, Preparing for Death, he delves into a subject that most of the world avoids or is scared of — death.
Shourie talks about why it’s important to ponder on and understand death and to not shy away from making peace with it. Shourie says it is important to be conscious about death instead of distancing ourselves from it.
But he also warns that if thoughts about death make you depressed, then it’s best to stop thinking about it. Shourie in his book studies the lives and last days of the Buddha, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Ramana Maharshi, Gandhiji, Vinoba Bhave and others.
“When you ask someone how to prepare for death, the usual response is to ensure you lead a good life. But even then we are talking about being attached to life or the goodness of it, so you are not really looking at death and so you are not really preparing for it,” he says.