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'Pragya never liked talk of her marriage, never saw movies'

November 4, 2008
My family belongs to Jalaun district in Uttar Pradesh. I am a Hindu but also known as a Kshatriya. (At this point his wife Sarla Devi objects to detailed questions about their early life. Dr Singh explains that since their family has 'nothing to hide', they should talk to all journalists and visitors without reservation. He asks her to keep her cool.) After 11 years of my marriage, Pragya was born. I have four daughters and one son. Children are always similar to their parents. I am a believer, a Hindu and quite proud of my religion. My dharampatni (wife) is also similar to me.

To believe in Ram or goddesses is a kind of primary belief. Now, I have graduated above it. I believe in the nirakar (formless). Beginners, who don't know much about God claim that Ganeshji or Lord Shankar is God. But, after understanding these Gods we have to move ahead. God is above forms. God is nirakar (has no form), God is omnipotent, omnipresent.

Pragya was born in Dhatiya district in Madhya Pradesh. Then, I was in government service as a 'demonstrator' in the agriculture department and, at same time, I was practicing Ayurveda.

In our family money never got top prominence. From a religious point of view there are four stages of one's actions -- dharma (duty), artha (money), kama (desire), moksha (freedom from desires) -- in our lives. The sequence has changed in today's lives. Kama and artha are dominating our lives. As a child, Pragya was an innocent and straight-forward girl.

As you know, it is normal to talk to girls about their expectations from marriage, about her preference of to-be mother-in-law. Pragya used to get upset if we talked to her about marriage or any such things. She never liked talk of marriage and she never went to see movies.

She never liked film songs. When she came to understand the meaning of Hindi film songs she kept away from them. In her teenage years she would sit in silence and pray before Shankar and Durga Mata. In school she was an average student but after she passed tenth standard her intelligence quotient started increasing. She passed intermediate exams from Lahar village in Bhind district of Madhya Pradesh and she did her BA in history from a Bhind college.

Image: Pragya's father Dr Chandrapal Singh says that to believe in Ram or goddesses is a kind of primary belief.

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