Letters to the Editor

Resolution For The Year 2020

Let us start this auspicious new year 2020 with a resolution to establish peace, unity and understanding in our community. May all beings be happy! May all beings be free from fear! Let our hearts be devoid of all negative feelings and filled with the subtle virtues of kindness, compassion love and forgiveness!

It is sad that on an insignificant matter on disposal of dead bodies we are creating unnecessary conflicts in the community. Instead of pondering over the past, let us think what we can do now, to restore peace in the community. All community members – traditionalists and reformists – have at least one thing in common and that is their faith in prayers, rituals and ceremonies, specially for the dead and that too performed at the serene heavenly peaceful garden of Doongarwadi.

Cremation, which is seen as the alternative to our traditional ritual, is practiced worldwide as it is quick and effective, but it is not environmentally friendly as it emits mercury and other gases, hazardous to the environment. Moreover, it hurts the sentiments of the community as we are exposing the dead body – naso- to the holy fire.

Due to environmental awareness, all over the world, people are showing a preference to green /eco-friendly methods of disposal that do not pollute the environment and are safe and effective. ‘Promession’ or Freeze-Drying the body and ‘Resomation’ or Alkaline hydrolysis, are methods practiced in other countries, but have as yet not been introduced in India. These are best suited to the needs of our community as they do not use fire or soil. All information is available on the internet but someone has to take the initiative, collect information, and put it to practice.

Since earlier times, before Dokhmas came into existence, we have been using burial for disposal of dead bodies. At many places where Dokhmas are not built, burial is practiced, and all traditional rituals, prayers and ceremonies are offered to the dead. There has never been any conflicts or controversies on the matter. We have adequate land and facilities to establish an Aramgaha to fulfill the need of the community. Dokhmas will remain open for those who want to continue with the old system. This is the best way to end conflicts and bring a peaceful solution.

Over three crores of our precious trust funds have been drained into big fat pockets of the attorneys leaving the deserving high and dry, suffering poverty, malnutrition, and deprived of the basic necessities of life. Zoroastrianism is not a religion of rules and restrictions – it gives us the freedom to make our decisions and act on them. One should understand the significance or prayers before denying prayers to the dead. One can truly pray when he has the conviction that God is within his heart.

Happiness comes to him who works for the happiness of others. By cultivating good thoughts, speaking kindly and serving selflessly, we can make our lives worth living.


Piroja Homi Jokhi

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