In response to Mr. P. D. Paul’s letter suggesting that a crematorium be established at Doongarwadi, I believe it’s difficult getting permission, and even if granted, it won’t be exclusive for our community. Just as we have no option but to dispose off a dead body, today we have no option but to do away with the system using non-functional or dead dokhmas.
Zoroastrians opting for cremation are as devout as all others and don’t cease being Zoroastrians just because their mortal remains are disposed through cremation. It is important that all of us have access to the bunglis at Doongarwadi for performance of the last rites, irrespective of the mode of disposal.
Mr. Paul is right that the community needs a safe, hygienic system for the disposal of dead with dignity. It would be convenient to perform the obsequies at the same place. Efforts were made by well-wishers of the community to allow the last rites of those who opt for cremation to be performed at Doongarwadi. Even a separate cremate ni bungli was suggested, but the orthodox dictators refused to budge. When all efforts failed, as a last resort, the Worli prayer hall was built.
We all are aware that the present system is not only inefficient and unhygienic, but also hazardous to the environment and more so, to the pall bearers who work in pathetic conditions.
Fortunately we have vast estates and resources at our disposal – a workable solution is to arrange for an Aramgah, a place for burial at Doongarwadi, where the dead can be made to rest in peace, receiving all help and blessings through prayers and ceremonies.
There have not been any religious strictures on burial and Parsis all over India have Aramgahs for disposal of dead bodies. Traditional methods have failed with lack of vultures and even solar panels are ineffective.
The need of the hour is to find a solution, or should we continue fighting over the issue? Dumping dead bodies thus, is hazardous to the neighbourhood, and not allowing the community members to perform obsequies for the dead is making the place redundant.