Many Hindus who cannot afford the high cost of firewood for cremation throw unburned bodies into the Ganga river. Many of these float down and get eaten by vultures and crows. Over one hundred of them backed up into this canal of the Ganges river, unburned and putrifying.
Is this the dignity we give to the dead? When will India learn to respect its water resources just that little bit (and its dead)?
Hundreds of dead bodies were found in the river Ganga in Uttar Pradesh, India. Dogs, crows and vultures dug into bodies as they had reached the bank.
More than 100 corpses, many of them children, have been found washed up in a shallow tributary of the River Ganges.
Officials do not suspect a crime, and instead believe the dead were given water burials. It is Indian custom not to cremate unwed girls, and many poor people cannot afford cremation.
But their discovery has sparked renewed concerns about the health of the Ganges, a sacred river where millions of Hindus cremate their dead.
Television footage showed dogs and birds feeding on the bloated and decaying bodies floating in the stream, whose waters are thought to have receded recently.
Police inspector general Satish Ganesh said they were probably given river burials upstream at a cremation area known as Pariyar Ghat before becoming stranded in shallow water.
Millions of Hindus practice open-air cremation, with the ashes of loves ones scattered in the revered but heavily polluted Ganges.
But poor families who cannot afford enough wood and other materials for the burning ceremony sometimes place the bodies in the water, while others are not cremated entirely.
While it is illegal to dispose of the dead in rivers, some practicing Hindus also believe that giving an unwed girl a water burial will ensure she is born again into the family.
The bodies of some holy men are also placed in the river instead of being cremated, in accordance with tradition.
The Hindu nationalist government of Narendra Modi has vowed to clean up the Ganges. But the discovery of so many bodies in one place has intensified environmental and health concerns.
Hindus bathe in the Ganges as an act of ritual purification, but the 1,600-mile river flowing from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal is full of sewage and industrial waste and increasingly suffers from water shortages.
Source :- www.dailymail.co.uk