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Hindus urge Malta Government to subsidize cremation abroad till crematorium is ready
Although a new law allowing cremation was passed in Malta Parliament in May 2019, but a functioning crematorium is nowhere in sight. According to some estimates; going through blueprints, approvals, construction, licensing, etc.; it might be 2023 when a working crematorium would be available to the public for cremation of their loved ones.
Malta, not having mechanism for the cremation of deceased Hindus, was forcing the community to bury their loved ones in contradiction of their long-held beliefs that burial hindered soul's journey; Hindu statesman Rajan Zed said in a statement in Nevada (USA) today.
If Government was presently unable to offer subsidy for cremations abroad, then in the meantime, Hindus should be allowed to cremate their deceased on traditional open pyres in Malta. For this purpose, Malta Government should allot a cremation ground near a body of water where Hindus could cremate their deceased on open pyres; Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, indicated.
Cremation abroad reportedly comes to around €5,000, but added options can raise the cost. Many non-Hindus now also prefer cremation over burial. Malta, however, has a pet crematorium.
Rajan Zed further said that Malta should show some maturity and be more responsive to the hurt feelings of its hard-working, harmonious and peaceful Hindu community; which had been in the country since 1800s and had made lot of contributions to the nation and society; and continued to do so.
Zed pointed out that cremation had been a pre-BCE tradition prescribed in ancient Hindu texts. Cremation signified spiritual release, helped severe ties to earthly life and gave momentum to the soul for its continuing spiritual journey. World's oldest extant scripture, Rig-Veda, told us: Agni, set him free again to go to the fathers.
It was simply heartbreaking for the community to perform something in clear violation of their faith. Being able to follow one's faith traditions was a fundamental human right, Rajan Zed stressed.
Funeral rites/ceremonies were one of the main samskaras (sacraments)