Sunday, 29 March 2009

The Burning Issue

Outdoor cremations? Well, I don’t blame anyone who doesn’t fancy the curtains and all that. I myself don’t fancy, and won’t be having, the curtains and all that. But Hindus can be buried if it’s done soon enough after death, I’m told. And this country is, you may have noticed, markedly less warm than India. In the open air here, could the body be guaranteed to attain the heat necessary for it to turn to ash? If not, then the situation hardly bears thinking about.

Caste is the obvious point on which “Hinduism” (a problematical concept, but of that another time) clashes with our own culture. But there are others. And this looks like one of them. Indeed, this is not so much a clash with our culture as simply a clash with our climate.


  1. I quite like the Hindu way of funeral.
    The thought of our grieving female relatives throwing themselves on my funeral pyre.....or being thrown on appealing.

    Surely a Society can tolerate it.
    There are so many other things less tolerable in the name of multi culturalism, forced circumcision of young women, forced (lets not call them "arranged") marriages, cruel ritual slaughter of animals, familial business arrangements that have scant regard for our tax, health and safety and other laws.

    It would seem to me a funeral pyre is the least important of all things about which we can legitimately work ourselves into a frenzy.

  2. David,

    The curtains don't bother me - I have made it quite clear that I want my ashes scattered on the Clyde with a minimum of fuss.

    While this aggressive assertion of Hindu nationalism shouln't be entirely unexpected, there are a couple of points about it that are quite disturbing.

    The first is that the practive of cremation might just lead to the spread of disease.

    And the second is that nobody seems to have thought what might happen if you try to hold an outdoor cremation on a pouring wet afternoon in October. The whole bangshoot might end up as a damb squib, so to speak.