Monday, January 18, 2010

Hindus don't need open-air cremation | Jay Lakhani | Comment is free |

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    • Jay Lakhani
    • This week, the court of appeal will revisit some of the arguments that determine whether a Hindu man is within his rights to demand an open-air cremation.
    • Hindus may at times insist on their human rights in keeping some of their traditions alive but there is at times a risk that this can show Hinduism more generally in a poor light and can undermine its potency. Such dogmatism detracts from the claim of this religion to being a living faith prepared to evolve with the times.


      What worries a Hindu like me is that the real motives behind such insistence may not be protecting human rights, but reinforcing good old priest-craft. Hindu priests who are in charge of liturgy should realise that though the rituals they are insisting upon are important, they should adapt and change with the requirements of modern living. Unfortunately many are not prepared to do this, putting a stubborn insistence on ritual over common sense. The spirit of Hinduism, in contrast, would seem insist that rituals should not be allowed to overwhelm or displace the philosophic foundation of religion.

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