January 23, 2021 2:07:50 am
THE UTTARAKHAND cabinet on Friday approved a proposal to provide 4.38 hectare of land near the Ganga in Haridwar for ‘bhu-samadhi’ – where sadhus who die can be buried.
Sources said the move follows objections from environmentalists over the current practice of ‘jal-samadhi’, in which the bodies are immersed in the Ganga. The sadhus themselves had been demanding land to start the practice of ‘bhu-samadhi’, so that there is no objection from others.
Government spokesperson Madan Kaushik told reporters that 4.38 hectare land belonging to the Irrigation department in Haridwar district will be provided for burial of the sadhus. He said the burial ground was a long-pending demand of the sadhus. Kaushik said the land will be permanently used for bhu-samadhi, beginning the upcoming Kumbh Mela. A system will be developed by the sadhus of Akhara Parishad to regulate the practice of bhu-samadhi.
Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad head Mahant Narendra Giri told The Indian Express that according to rituals sadhus are either immersed in water after death or buried. “Since there was no land earmarked in Uttarakhand for bhu-samadhi, the bodies were immersed in river. With the government now clearing the proposal to provide land for bhu-samadhi, this practice will start during the upcoming Kumbh Mela,” Giri said.
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