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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Defiled by Dalit's touch, Muslims perform Hindu man's last rites

'Defiled' by a Dalit's touch, the relatives of Rameshwar refused to cremate him. For three days the body kept lying in wait for the funeral.

At last, Muslims in the town (Khandwa) that is yet to recover from the recent riot, came forward to perform the last rites of the elderly man. Rameshwar's kin said that they could not perform his last rites because Dalits ('sweepers') had touched it.
And if somebody touches a 'polluted' body, he also gets polluted, said the community leader. For getting cleansed the person then has to embark on a pilgrimage.

Also, the community fines such people who touch a 'defiled' body. Rameshwar, a Gond, had died in a road accident on September 29.

On Gandhi Jayanti, the body was still waiting for funeral. Despite administration trying hard to convince his family members to perform the funeral, nobody was willing to do it. Muslims decided to come forward. The local Muslim society leader Ahmad Patel offered to cremate as per the Sanatan traditions.

However, the deceased's family insisted that he should be buried. (There is custom in several Hindu communities to bury their dead). And the Muslims conducted the last rites. All this happened in Khandwa town in Madhya Pradesh, which had witnessed a communal clash only recently and the normaly hadn't returned completely in the town.

5 comments:

Ye manzilen !! said...

You think this is the time to be in India...it has changed, progressed and is matured...and comes this sad story...

If I continue to read ur blog....I am going to end up postponing my return to India...
Thanks for bringing this studpidty out on blog...
:)

Anser azim said...

I feel sorry for the guy who touched the corpse!! I think this is very deep rooted in India, and is an integral part of hindu faith. Its there amongst Muslims too but to a lesser extent. Its endemic in southern part of India. I remember in Moti Mahal hostel we used to let the Bhangi (Ramesh! not real name) make our morning/evening tea in our rooms after he used to clean our common bath rooms. It was fun to see how our Hindu colleagues used to react to it, while we enjoyed our tea outside our rooms. The society we come from is still very narrow minded. The whole mandir was once washed when Late Jagjivan Ram entered into one of them either in Banaras or Gorakhpur.
I hope there be a Hindu law that gives right to all Hindus (Brahmin to shudras)to have equal access to all Hindu holy sites and they should be given the right to full access to holy books also.

indscribe said...

...bizarre contradictions in this country...there are good stories as well and some times there are bad ones.

Anser Azim sahab, in urban areas there is less untouchability but in rural areas the practice continues.

Anser azim said...

Azizi Indscribe: To some extent its less in urban areas but its also prevalnet in the relatively educated class, the major class in urban setting. I do not how many people from the lower caste background are allowed to attend Mandir services, though they are fully part of Deepavali and Holy festivities?? I do not know how it feels to be branded as untouchable
and not allowed in certain places beacuse of that stigma!! I hope we all can give respect to all irrespective of his/her background.

anser

mukund said...

ye manzilen... Please stay back. We are more than happy.... motherland has to be accepted the way it is. And every country has its good and bad. Change it if you can! That is also welcome! NRI's study here on Indian subsidies and then complain staying from the distance.