Burial or Cremation: It's Not Sakshi Maharaj's ChoiceSakshi Maharaj has once again indulged in inflammatory rabble rousing by suggesting that all dead persons should be cremated regardless of religion, because he pointed out that burial is leading to shortage of land. It has become a habit with him to make statements that try to polarize voters on religious lines. That the BJP does nothing more than rap him on the knuckles each time he makes such statements has encouraged him to up the ante. It is high time the party counseled the MP against making such incendiary remarks that have the potential of starting riots. But this time Maharaj has raised a valid point, though in his usual twisted way loaded with arguments intended to hurt the sentiments of Muslims and Christians. Shortage of land for burial is a problem that most countries are facing. Japan, Hong Kong and England have been brainstorming for a solution for this problem for the last three or four years. Since 2013, most major newspapers and magazines all over the world have highlighted this problem. They have also reported about the various ideas that are floating around to bury people with ease and the respect they deserve. Cremation of the dead can only be a solution to this problem if it is permitted by the religion that the dead person followed. It cannot be imposed by the administration. The religious texts, the clergy, the society and the family of the dead person have all got to agree before such a radical deviation from traditional practice is even thought of. By suggesting the idea of cremation for all Indians and doing so in his usual threatening manner, Maharaj has politicized an issue that India will also face sometime in future. One is sure that sane discussion on this topic will no longer be possible after Sakshi Maharajs uncalled for meddling.
By Sunil Garodia