Religious Rights.

Should open-air cremations be allowed in Britain? Some followers of the Hindu religion are pressing for the open-air burning of bodies in accordance with their faith, which is illegal in the United Kingdom.

According to Hindu religious beliefs, the body should be burnt in the open air, allowing the soul freedom to leave the body and be reincarnated. This 4,000 year-old practice is normal in South Asia, but in Britain is banned by the 1930 Cremation Act which restricts the burning of bodies to crematoriums.

Today, The High Court in London is hearing the case of Davender Ghai, a seventy-year-old Hindu. Mr. Ghai has received the backing of the influential UK Hindu Council Organisation and some Hindu temples in the U.K. He is requesting a Judicial Review of the 1930’s Law on religious grounds, and in part, on the 1998 Human Rights Act which covers the freedom to practice religious beliefs. In 2006, Mr Ghai was lucky to escape prosecution when he cremated the body of a 31-year-old Sikh man at a secret location in Northumberland. The Crown Prosecution Service decided not to pursue the case against him.

Not all Hindu’s agree with Mr. Ghai’s assessment however. Jay Lakhani, a member of the Hindu Academy educational body is quoted as saying: “Hindu scriptures should be interpreted judiciously and teaching does allow interpretation in a modern way.” He went on further to say he “could not understand why UK Hindus would want to dispose of bodies in an “antiquated” manner”.

While I have great respect for Mr. Ghai and his religious beliefs, I really cannot agree with his proposition. There has to be a limit on the rights of an individual who, of his own free will, is living in someone else’s country. There are too many people playing the human rights card these days just to get what they want, and they are usually a minority.

It has always been my firm belief that if you are, what amounts to a guest in someone else’s land, you should adapt as far as possible to the laws and traditions of that land. I say this as someone who has lived outside the U.K. since 1972 when I first moved to Holland. I am now a ‘Gentleman of Leisure’ in Spain. However, I have never asked for anything from either host country, I have always paid my way, and done my best to integrate into that country’s culture.

In Spain and many other Catholic countries, it is customary at Easter for processions carrying images of the Virgin Mary and Christ on the Cross to be held in every city, town and village. Imagine trying to do that in a Muslim country like Iran for example (worst case I know)! You would start a riot and be stoned all the way. Such countries do not allow any religious beliefs other than their own. I am almost afraid the Church of England will be disbanded because we might upset the immigrants!

The British have for decades been pampering the minority immigrant population, and in the process have lost their own national identity. I take my hat off to Boris Johnson the Mayor of London who said it is time we English started celebrating St. George’s Day, he is after all our Patron Saint. The Irish, Scottish and Welsh do, but for forty years the English haven’t because we are afraid to upset some minority groups. What rubbish!

It is time the British learned they are not a multi-cultural society, they are a society of British with a large immigrant population. That is the way every other nation on earth thinks of itself, why not us?

For example, an end must be made to schools struggling to teach classes in foreign languages because they have immigrant pupils. These children will grow up as citizens of Britain, and as such their first language must be English.

An end must also be made trying to make our country fit the ideals and beliefs of immigrants lest we offend them. In my opinion, if you can’t fit in, you know where the door is!

Thank God we still have free speech, or is that next on the agenda!!

May your beliefs always be yours.


One Response to “Religious Rights.”

  1. Phil Says:

    Right on!


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