The Central government has announced a seven-day period of mourning and a state funeral for former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who passed away at 5:05 pm on Thursday, August 16. The 93-year-old leader breathed his last on Thursday in AIIMS hospital, according to the medical bulletin his health began to deteriorate in the last 36 hours before he was moved on life support.
It's a public funeral procession which was initially accorded to Prime Ministers, State Chief Ministers and Union Ministers (former or currently holding a position in office) by the Union government. The norm eventually changed and now this honour is given to personalities who have worked for the nation, considering their stature and body of work, the state government takes this decision.
People from all walks of life have received this state honour depending on their contribution in varied fields of politics, science, literature, art, law to name a few.
Earlier this month the 94-year-old DMK supremo Karunanidhi received this honour and his last rites were conducted in Marina Beach's Anna Memorial, where he was laid to rest next to his mentor Annadurai.
Bollywood superstar Sridevi, who was a Padma Shri awardee breathed her last on February 24, her sudden death left the cinema industry and her fans in a state of shock.
Spiritual guru Dada J. P. Vaswani's followers paid their last visit to the leader on July 13 in Pune, where he died at the age of 99.