Friday, May 08, 2009

Death and Society

There's an interesting story here. In brief, a Hindu has been refused permission for his cremation to be in the traditional Indian style of an open funeral pyre.

What is especially interesting is what the judge said.

Mr Justice Cranston said that Justice Secretary Jack Straw, who had resisted Mr Ghai's legal challenge, argued that people might be "upset and offended" by pyres and "find it abhorrent that human remains were being burned in this way".

Why is it any more abhorrent that human remains are being burnt in an open pyre than in a crematorium? The only reason I can think of is that we want to hide death away.

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