Tamil Nadu

Convert all caste-based cremation/burial grounds in TN into common facilities, suggests Madras HC

The Madras High Court has lamented the practice of caste based discrimination continuing even after death. It has suggested that the State government and the local bodies can convert all caste based burial/cremation grounds located across the State into common grounds that could be used by all those who profess the same faith.

Justice R. Mahadevan said more such common burial/cremation grounds could be constructed so that people belonging a particular religion could bury their dead without any discrimination on the basis of caste. He also suggested that penal action could be initiated against those who object to burying/cremating the dead in the common ground.

He said the government could even grant financial incentives to wards where such common burial/cremation grounds were established and maintained successfully. The suggestions were made while rejecting a plea to allocate a separate burial ground for Arunthathiyar community in Madur village of Kallakurichi district.

The writ petitioners B. Kalaiselvi and Mala Rajaram complained that the Arunthathiyar community people were now burying their dead on a land classified as water course poromboke in the revenue records. They said that such act was causing inconvenience to adjacent land owners and increases possibility of flooding during rainy season.

Referring to several philosophers, poets and thinkers having described death being a great equalizer and that all natural as well as man made differences cease to exist at the final altar, the judge said: “It is rather painful that, even after death, litigation seeking the right to a decent burial, which is an integral part of right to human dignity, reaches this court quite often.”

After analysing the ills of caste system and how discrimination between human beings exist in other countries too, the judge said the court could not give its stamp of approval for establishing caste based cremation/burial grounds even though the government officials, in the present case, were ready to identify a ground for Arunthathiyar community.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 4:02:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/convert-all-caste-based-cremationburial-grounds-in-tn-into-common-facilities-suggests-madras-hc/article37890676.ece

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