Parsi Last Rites
- January 18, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Parsi Last Rites
Subject – Art and Culture
Context – Centre cites Covid-19 risk, tells SC can’t let plea to allow Parsi last rites
- Parsi rituals prohibit the cremation or burial of dead bodies, and instead, they allow the corpses to decay naturally.
- A dakhma, also known as a Tower of Silence, is a circular, raised structure built by Zoroastrians for excarnation–that is, the exposure of human dead bodies to the elements for decay in order to avert contamination of the soil with the corpses.
- Carrion birds, usually vultures and other sc avengers, would typically consume the flesh and the skeletal remains would have been left in the pit.
- Zoroastrian exposure of the dead is first attested in the mid-5th century BCE Histories of Herodotus, but the use of towers is first documented in the early 9th century CE.
- The doctrinal rationale for exposure is to avoid contact with Earth, Water, or Fire, all three of which are considered sacred in the Zoroastrian religion.
- Parsis, who came to India from Persia (Iran) a thousand years ago with their Zoroastrian faith, have gone to great lengths to maintain their unique funeral rituals.
Why letting bodies decay is risky?
- According to scientific evidence, the virus can survive on a dead body, in bodily fluids, secretions and moist cells of the body for up to nine days, according to the affidavit filed by the Centre in the apex court.
- World Health Organization has noted that if a person died of Covid-19 while he or she was infectious, the lungs and other organs may still contain live virus even after death and recommended only cremation or burial for the disposal of such dead bodies.
- OIE (World Organization for Animal Health) has observed that the people who are suspected or confirmed to be infected with the virus should minimise close direct contact with animals, including wildlife.