Sunday, 28 October 2007

Hindus want the right to dump the ashes of their dead into Canadian rivers and streams

From the Toronto Star.

Funeral law fails ethnic groups

Rigid regulations undermine immigrants' freedom to practise final rites, study finds

Oct 27, 2007 04:30 AM

Prithi Yelaja
Staff Reporter


Death may be the final frontier when it comes to testing the limits of multicultural accommodation in Ontario.

Rigid provincial and municipal regulations regarding funerals and burials, created primarily to accommodate western Judeo-Christian customs, are forcing faith communities to adjust to the law rather than have the freedom to practise their final rites, according to a new study from Ryerson University.


Note - This writer is biased. Noticed how she wrote that "municipal regulations regarding funerals and burials, created primarily to accommodate western Judeo-Christian customs." Such a statement is just stupid. To accommodate something, something else must exist before it. Since Canada was founded on western Judeo-Christian customs our municipal regulations regarding funerals and burials are not accommodating anyone since Canada did not exist as a nation before the founding, settler people of Europe arrived. It is the customs of the founding peoples that was established in the land. Hindus and other non-Christian religions as well as other non-Europeans are not founding people. They are the ones seeking accommodation in a land they chose to come to after the fact. This Star writer wants the reader to think that our laws are bigoted since one group of people is being accommodated and another is not as though everyone arrived in Canada at the same time, Hindus and all. Judging by the Star writer's name I would say that she is Hindu herself and is using this story as a political tool to effect change in our laws to accommodate her and her religion.

Hindus, for example, face a problem with spreading of ashes after cremation. According to custom, ashes should be placed in a moving body of water, but conservation authorities say that's a potential hazard to ecosystems and isn't allowed.

"Everything is geared to the Christian tradition, but the rules are outdated. They have to change because the demographics have changed," says Pundit Roopnauth Sharma, of the Shri Ram Mandir temple in Mississauga.


Note - There was a problem with Hindus before with funerary rites. Residents downstream of the Credit River in Mississauga were finding packaged Hindu deity and flower petals washing ashore. It turned out Hindus were dumping the ashes of their deceased into the river along with other gifts that go along with the ceremony.

He has been talking with the province for three years to get clarity on where and how Hindus can dispose of cremated ashes. Meanwhile, his temple has an agreement with a small boat rental agency to ferry grieving parishioners out into Lake Ontario, where they can deposit their loved one's ashes.

For Muslims in the GTA, the customary ghusl (bathing) and shrouding of the deceased typically takes place in a mosque.

According to Muslim tradition, burial should take place within 24 hours of death. But that's not always possible because of cemetery rules, as well as bureaucratic and legal requirements, such as the need to obtain a death certificate or in some cases perform an autopsy – a practice prohibited under Islam.

Although Muslims make up about 10 per cent of the GTA's population, they have yet to establish their own cemetery because of prohibitive land costs, says Abdul Hai Patel, of the Islamic Council of Imams.


Prohibitive land costs? Where do they get the money to build all those mosques?

There is room to accommodate funeral rites but the depositing of ashes in Canadian rivers and streams is asking for too much. Our laws should not change and any Hindu caught breaking the law should be fined.

The Ganges River in India is the traditional and spiritual river where Hindus performed this task and ex-pat Hindu Indians would fly the ashes back there to perform this rite but this is costly. It seems Hindus are willing to break with tradition and perform funeral ceremonies locally to save a few bucks. I also suspect there is a political motive behind their desire to alter our burial laws to make Canada more Indian. This is Canada. This is not India. Asking to deposit the ashes of deceased loved ones into Canadian rivers and streams is not acceptable. You can always fly the ashes back to India. That's just part of the cost of moving to Canada. If you really respected this country then you would do it.

This is why Hindus in Canada support unfettered mass immigration. This allows a constant stream of Hindus into Canada thus swelling the population that already lives here. The larger number could effect political change to meet their Indo-centric demands. Canada: it was a lovely country we had once.

9 comments:

Aspiring immigrant said...

I hope Canada never gives Hindus the right to pollute its rivers with the ashes of their dead.

Like you said, they can always hop on an Air India flight and dump them into the already polluted-beyond-hope Ganges. Which is where they should be dumped. The Hindus are just showing themselves to be cheap by wanting to prevent spending any money to respect their dead properly.

Anonymous said...

Scattering cremated human remains in Ontario is happening on public beaches. I witnessed burial ceremony at Wasaga Beach. It left me, my family and friends speechless. I could not believe this is happening in Ontario. Minister Harinder Takhar announced new guidelines end of June 2009 that scattering is permitted on Crown land, provincial parks, conservation reserves and Great lakes. I feel that my rights are being violated, because I can not swim in human ashes, flowers and food that was thrown into the water. My kids felt nauseated and they do not want to go to the beach anymore.

pilvikki said...

I'm a bit confused; where did you get the idea that tossing cremated ashes into ontario waterways is illegal? Well, it's not. Furthermore, what can be more sanitary than something that was cooked at around 1000ยบ C from one to 3 hrs?

I'm not a fan of feeding fishes left over lunches, but flower petals? Ye gods! what were they thinking, what could be more unsightly than that?

Yes! I'll take the beer cans, syringes, condoms, fast food wrappers and empties any day over - gasp! flower petals.

Really, give me a break!

As for the "aspiring immigrant": take your narrow-minded and insulting attitude back to wherever you hail from... and stay there.

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Anonymous said...

It isn't just immigrants. A few years ago, I learned with shock that a landlord was going to put the cremains of a dead tenant's father into the trash as there wereno remaining family members. The father had been a WWII vet and so I took the ashes thinking Veterans Affairs would help me make sure they found a resting place. I phoned and they told me there was nothing they could do to help--they wouldn't even give me info on what unit he served in, information which the Legion had told me could at least help put me in touch with people who served with him. I didn't have the money to buy a grave and so I hitched a ride on someone's boat and scattered them on Lake Huron, far away from wars and the thankless civilians for whom young soldiers sacrificed their health and sanity. I can't even remember the poor guy's name now but I do remember that he was a poster child for PTSD. He served as a gunner in the air force for three years, enlisting when he was 19, and came back an alcoholic. He was with the Toronto police for a time but fired because of his drinking. His son, deeply troubled, committed suicide by jumping off the Davisville bridge, probably passing on the terrir and the torment to some poor TTC driver. And I'm what I guess this poor devil would have called a JAP, with ancestors who were on the other side. And the landlord was a true-blue white Canadian. There are no generalities in this life, just folks for the most part doing the best they can to be decent and a minority of others from every race, clan and faith who for an infinite number of reasons screw up all over the place. From what I've seen, though, a little understanding goes a long way to make life better for us all.