Right to Last Rites

Everyone builds relation at various stages of life right from his cradle to grave. Parents, relatives, friends, acquaintances and foes as well. First we all recognize others by its physical appearance then only we enter into relationship. It is very much alike getting a new book. First we see the cover then flip pages. We take notice of their gestures, gaiet, smiles, elan, tears and facial expressions. Hence apart from the inner self, the physical existence too have equal importance and value. We all feel the pleasure of meeting somebody in person rather than talking over phones or something.

I always ponder over the thought how such relationship and value change at the event of death? Then we call them "a body". In cremation time nobody refers the person by his or her name. Everyone says bring the body on pyre or  its a heavy body and it take more time to burn or more people will be required to carry the coffin due to heavy weight of the body or hospital handed over the body after issuing death certificate etc. Why? After death only  the soul of the dead will remain with us and the body will become a simple object of no value? Where the value we conferred upon their smile and countenance have gone?

The above thought gathered more steam when we find hundreds of dead bodies floating on the bosom of holy fever Ganga in UP and Bihar. The bodies were abandoned due to the reasons best known the friends and relatives of the dead. Bodies were also found under soil by the bank of river near Unnao, UP.

The question is do they not deserve to be even cremated with honour? Do they not have right for their own last rites  after serving years on mother earth and contributing his or her bit towards building of nation and humanity?

Where is human value? Any relationship never ends with death. Relationships are eternal. Not only the dead body but also all his or her materialistic belongings, deeds and the value we all conferred upon them deserve deep veneration and reverence. We can't simply absolve ourself from the act of humanity by simply throwing the dead bodies to river in the name of non availability of cremation place or money or directive for suppressing the actual death figure  in the middle of pandemic when both central and state government authorities struggle to manage media amidst collapsed health system and trying to convince us that all efforts are being done and we are at the threshold of flattening the curve of infectivity. All said and done, death is inevitable whether untimely or timely but every individual is having rights for dignified cremation. It is beyond one's wildest dream that the body thrown into a holy river packed in plastic overall thereby not only polluting the river but spreading the infection ubiquitously. Thus along with collapsing health system we witness paralyzed administration along with inhuman insouciance by dear and near ones. Does it portend societal apocalypse?

Wish we all devote more time towards humanity and endeavour to add more value to the noble relationships even beyond death as may be today or tomorrow we ourselves will be the victim of such vicious inhumane and barbaric insinuation.


More by :  Abhijit Sur

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