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Bodies reappear in Ganga, proving that last year’s media claims of bodies in the river due to unaccounted Covid deaths were wrong

While Hindus generally cremate the dead, some people near Ganga burry the bodies for various reasons, which had led to false claims of unaccounted Covid deaths last year

As dead bodies reappear in Ganga, the concocted portrayal of the so-called unaccounted Covid-19 deaths in India by the so-called liberal world media is exposed once again. Today, when the Covid-19 cases and in turn the deaths due to the virus are well under control, bodies are appearing in Ganga and on its banks once again. While many people are calling the burial of the bodies on the banks of the holy river a ritual to attain salvation, others point their fingers toward the financial inability to execute proper cremation of the bodies.

Last year, the wave of the Delta variant of the coronavirus hit India in the summer. As many bodies were seen floating in the holy river and many others were found buried in the sand on its banks, many sections of the so-called liberal media and especially the foreign media indicated that the situation has appeared due to the unaccounted Covid-19 deaths in the wave. The Phaphamau Ghat of Prayagraj attracted many parts of this selectively targeted criticism because the media showed it as a graveyard of sorts and saffron-colored clothes on temporarily erected poles indicating that bodies have been buried there. Though burying is not the primary Hindu way to perform the last rites, some have found it convenient while a few others identify it as a custom.

It is evident from the bodies found floating in the river this year that while reporting in the last year, the international media did not investigate the root cause behind the open burials. It was rather interesting in the hyped depiction of how the virus is playing havoc in the country and how the systems have crumbled under the high count of the cases and the deaths. It is however pertinent to note that this year the international media has chosen not to report the open burial of bodies near the banks of the river. There is a sharp decline in Covid-19 cases this year with high vaccination coverage being a major contributing factor to the country’s success in battling the pandemic.

According to a report by ANI, Teerthraj Patel, a local resident while attending a funeral of his relative said, “In Hinduism, the funeral is done by burning the pyre in which a lot of wood is used. Here, the body gets absorbed in the Ganga. There is nothing wrong with all this. The ghat is used by people from various districts. They are aware of the contraction of the river Ganga during the summer season. They know that when the river will expand during the rainy season, the bodies will be submerged in the river and their loved ones will get salvation. This is why there is a temporary burial in the sand.”

According to the report, the Prayagraj Municipal Commissioner Ravi Ranjan said, “We are urging people not to bury bodies there. An electric crematorium will be built there for which permission has been received from the concerned department. The work will be completed soon.”

While cremation is primary method of last rites of the dead among Hindus, some sections also practice burial. It is regularly seen on Ganga’s banks in some locations of Uttar Pradesh. Before 1988, the tradition of immersing dead bodies in Ganga was popular among the masses as they were deemed unfit for cremation. However, Supreme Court ruled against the practice and deemed it illegal to immerse dead bodies in the river.

There can be several reasons which make a dead body unfit for cremation according to tradition, such as if the person died of a snake bite, if it was an infant, if the person had some skin disease or if the person was a Sadhu. In these cases, it is advised, as per traditions, to bury the dead body.

Similarly, in some families, they do not cremate anyone but bury them alongside Ganga banks in shallow graves. These graves are then covered with bamboo sticks and Ram Naam Clothes that are considered sacred. Shringverpur Ghat and Phaphamau Ghat in Prayagraj are famous for such burials. Last year, amidst the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the media houses that were filled with reports that are totally disconnected from the Hindu traditions suddenly found these Ghats.

While such burials always took place on riverbanks at some places, the media splashed the images of such burial sites as the victims of Covid-19. Unable to cremate the bodies, they were forced to burry them, the media reports claimed, unaware of the facts. UP CM Yogi Adityanath had slammed the media reports, sharing old pre-Covid images showing bodies on the banks of Ganga.

It is evident from the current situation that the reality of the floating bodies in the Ganga is different than how it was reported in the second wave of Covid-19.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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