Hindu wins battle for funeral pyre in Britain
A devout Hindu declared himself “overjoyed” on Wednesday after winning a court fight to be allowed to be cremated in Britain on an open-air funeral pyre.
Spiritual healer Davender Ghai, 71, was granted his last wish by the Court of Appeal which ruled the controversial ceremony could be carried out without a change in the law, which prohibits the burning of human remains anywhere outside a crematorium.
But the judges ruled in his favour only after Ghai agreed that the pyre would be surrounded by walls and a roof with an opening, the Press Association domestic news agency reported.
Ghai believes that a pyre is essential to “a good death” and for the release of his spirit into the afterlife. He wants a permit for an open-air cremation site in a remote part of Northumberland in northern England.
With Europeans discussing restrictions on certain traditions such as the wearing of Muslim face veils, do you think this Hindu tradition is acceptable in a western society?
Does it stop short of some red line that the Muslim veil crosses? Does it make a difference that a Hindu is seeking respect for a religious tradition rather than a Muslim?