Saturday, July 15, 2006

Sikh funeral pyre challenges UK law

With all the attention going to the Muslims, and all the contingent concessions and pay-offs they have been winning, one may understand if the Sikhs have been feeling a little left out (not to mention the Hindus). They started getting bolshie last year when hundreds of them descended to riot on a theatre in Birmingham and force the closure of a play deemed to be disrespectful of their religion. This was militant Sikhism. Disgracefully, the police did not intervene, the play closed, and the Home Office asserted the rights of subjective religious sensitivities over artistic expression. Now they have challenged the law of the land with an open-air cremation of a young Sikh man, the first in the UK for over 70 years.

The funeral pyre of Rajpal Mehat, 31, took place in a remote field after Northumbria Police gave permission on ‘humanitarian grounds’. Since when was it for the police to grant discretionary permissions to break the law? Funeral pyres have been illegal in the UK since 1930, and environmentally with good reason. The 1930 Cremation Act prohibits the cremation of human remains anywhere except in a crematorium. But Superintendent Graham Smith said that his job was to ‘respect the values and beliefs of all faiths’. No, Superintendent, your job is to enforce the law.

It seems that when British law conflicts with ‘religious right’, the law may be set aside with the tacit support of the police. From how many British laws are minority ethnic groups to be exempt?

40 Comments:

Blogger Croydonian said...

I don't believe that there are many Zoroastratians in this country, and I am not sure this country is ready for towers of silence either.

15 July 2006 at 10:23  
Anonymous Ulster Man said...

There are indeed Zoroastrians in the UK, and the police don't give any indication that their 'sensitivity' is dependent on the size of the ethnic group. So, we can look forward to towers of silence in the Royal Parks. Shouldn't ethnic groups adapt themselves to British culture? Or is that now considered offensive?

15 July 2006 at 10:55  
Anonymous person said...

ulster man said...Shouldn't ethnic groups adapt themselves to British culture? Or is that now considered offensive?
yeh, well the whole idea of a multicultural society isn't just to adapt to the British culture, but to also respect and appreciate what new cultures have to give. P.S. think about it... what would you do without curry today? OH THE HORROR!

15 July 2006 at 11:18  
Anonymous Ulster Man said...

Cranmer, do we really have to endure contributors who reduce everything to curry? This is supposed to place for intelligent discourse. 'Person' has a sub-GCSE level of engagement. Can you get rid of it?

15 July 2006 at 11:31  
Anonymous person said...

oh cum on ulster, what's the problem...do you find my level of intelligence far to intimidating that you wanna get rid of me so soon. try tolerating me a little longer...can't get to bad.

15 July 2006 at 11:39  
Anonymous Rick said...

I see a Sikh organisation has called for prosecutions for breach of the 1902 Act. It says this was a stunt and Sikhs can use crematoria like anyone else.

This was remarkably well filmed - it has the hallmarks of a stunt.

Can the police please give me exemption from certain laws based upon "cultural; sensitivity" ?

15 July 2006 at 11:46  
Anonymous Rick said...

http://tinyurl.com/zes45

15 July 2006 at 11:47  
Anonymous Rick said...

Now illegals determine our laws ?

Police initially gave permission for the ceremony but have since launched an investigation into whether it violated the Cremation Act.

The body of Rajpal Mehat, an illegal immigrant from India, was burned in a field in Northumberland, about 450 miles from London.


http://tinyurl.com/hfxt8

Nice bit of media manipulation.........

Mehat, 30, was found drowned in London's River Thames in December. His remains were at a mortuary for seven months until Davender Ghai, president of the Anglo-Asian Friendship Society, helped police identify them.

Ghai said he tried to repatriate the body, but airlines refused to move it because Mehat had no official documents. Ghai said he arranged for Mehat's mother and sister to travel to Britain.

"The mother asked for a funeral pyre ... the soul would be restless without a proper funeral," Ghai said.

He said he hired a secluded area from a landowner. "He didn't ask any questions, and we didn't tell him what it was for."

Police met Ghai and Mehat's family before the funeral Wednesday and allowed the cremation to go ahead, Newcastle police Superintendent Graham Smith said.

About 100 people gathered around the pyre as Ghai set it ablaze.

But while the pyre was still smoldering, police said they began to investigate.

"We believe offenses may have been committed ... in relation to where human remains can legally be cremated," Smith said.


Quite a stunt.....the dozy English policeman was conned and probably still hasn't realised............what stupid fools we have in positions of authority

15 July 2006 at 11:51  
Blogger Croydonian said...

Having done some rooting around, it looks as though burial is permitted in Sikhism, although cremation is the preferred option.

It would appear that the reason for cremation being disapproved of by the early Church was because of issues of physical resurrection.

15 July 2006 at 11:59  
Anonymous Cllr. Gavin Ayling said...

You should get trackbacks Cranmer!

Anyway, this is yet another item to add to the great pyre that is British justice.

15 July 2006 at 12:16  
Blogger phone cam foolery said...

Let us not forget that Muslims are allowed to bury their dead in a shroud rather than a coffin, the whole purpose of a coffin is to allow the body to break down before any nastiness can enter the earth and therefore water table.
What next we start chucking deceased shop keepers into the sacred river Thames?

Btw some Hindus have been campaigning for that right.

15 July 2006 at 12:37  
Blogger phone cam foolery said...

"Person"
you seem to come to these debates assuming that "multiculturalism" is some kind of accepted creed,
It most certainly is not, it is a Marxist faith that has been foisted upon the people of this country, the natives don't want to celebrate diversity, it took us over a 1000 years to get to where we were and a pretty good place it was. As I have said before, if you don't like it you know where the door is.
And finally, I am not going to feed your trollishness anymore, you strike me as a very immature teenager, I find the insects in my garden annoying enough without having to put up with your incoherent droning on about things that you do not understand

15 July 2006 at 12:44  
Anonymous Rick said...

purpose of a coffin is to allow the body to break down before any nastiness can enter the earth and therefore water table.

Yet the modern coffins break open as soon as the earth is on them and they are so shoddy that they last a very short time. Also modern graves are shallower than in Victorian times.

A crematoirium runs at 1100C to burn completely and cut down pollution,. this requires a good air mix. Millions of Pounds were spent upgrading Crematoria to EU standards on clean air - letting people cremate human bodies in their back gardens undermines this procedure. If they continue with such stunts we should go to the German system where cremated remains can ONLY be buried in cemeteries.

I am interested to know how the Registrar handled this. There is a Death Certificate sent to the Registrar who issues a Disposal Certificate, this Certificate is returned by the Undertaker to the Registrar.

Further, if this body was unidentified and then could not be transported because of lack of documents; how did this man find "the mother" ? Clearly he found some willing dupe to push to do what he wanted. Someone has been bending rules at the Register Office.


The point remains however that i have a cleaer picture of this stunt in Neewcastle from a newspaper online in Boston, MA than in any British newspaper or TV station. Why do British Media hide the facts from the public ?

15 July 2006 at 12:44  
Blogger phone cam foolery said...

Croydonain they did it to make a point, I have asked my local grocer ( a Hindu)he said sikhs are perfectly happy to use a crematorium , as did the todays telegraph.
Now i can return to the garden and those lovely wasps etc

15 July 2006 at 12:47  
Blogger phone cam foolery said...

sorry to over post but I have to share something my mother has just told me (5 mins ago) she was waiting for a bus on the Harrow rd this morning, an African woman was st on the bench, pulled down her pants and let loose a torrent of pee while grinning at my mother, Mummy being quite cool said to her
"I bet that was a relief "(there being so much of it) the woman said yes she hated public toilets and padded herself dry with a tissue.
one of those you thought you had seen it all in London moments and are then proved wrong.

15 July 2006 at 13:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

London is so fortunate to have so many levels of civilisation in one city - Darwin would not doubt have been pleased to see the Natural History Museum paired in this way with contemporaneous Performance Art....................


that sounds so BBC..........so arty......hello Nigel !

15 July 2006 at 15:59  
Blogger Thomas Fuller said...

I have always been puzzled by the discretion allowed to the police in applying the law. Their job is surely just that -- applying the law.

Where there is discretion there is also the likelihood of corruption. Here we see an example of cultural rather than financial corruption, most evident, perhaps, in the utterances and conduct of that most egregious nitwit, Sir Ian Blair.

Ah me, what has happened to England?

15 July 2006 at 17:47  
Anonymous person said...

Phoney - I am not going to feed your trollishness anymore, you strike me as a very immature teenager, I find the insects in my garden annoying enough without having to put up with your incoherent droning on about things that you do not understand

Ditto, mummy's boy

15 July 2006 at 22:35  
Anonymous person said...

In addition to my previous comment, yes you are right, I am a "well-informed, intellectual and erudite" teenager. In the 17 years of my life, it is evident that i have obtained a greater degree of knoweledge than you ever could in your 50+ years of worthless living.

"I have asked my local grocer ( a Hindu)he said sikhs are perfectly happy to use a crematorium"
why are you asking a hindu about sikhs?


PS. Why are you still living with your mummmy?

16 July 2006 at 12:33  
Anonymous qwerty said...

Phone cam, i found your story very interesting, it made me remember all the times that i have seen such simialr events. well, one day as i took a stroll through a park in w9 i was horrified to witness a whole group of white, middle-aged men, most likely drunk who were using a beauiful bush as their toilet.
What are your thoughts on this?

17 July 2006 at 10:06  
Anonymous three olive martini said...

Cranmer - sorry to fan the flames, I tried to resist and couldn't.

Person - surely anyone "well-informed, intellectual and erudite" should be able to run to a few capital letters and some correct spelling?

Yours in sub-editing pedantry...

17 July 2006 at 14:09  
Blogger phone cam foolery said...

QWERTY
We were a drunken mob , what can is say?

17 July 2006 at 15:25  
Blogger phone cam foolery said...

Person I do not "live with mummy"
Let me try and explain something to you, Ii like most Cchristian men have a good relationship with my mother based on respect, unlike savages such as yourself I do not consider her , her sister ,her mother or my sister to be an object that exists to serve me.
I am happy to state that I enjoy a good relationship with my mother and as such we discuss things that we think the other may find interesting.
You Muslims should try it, then maybe so many of you wouldnt turn out to be homosexuals.
A cheap jibe you may think ,however , anybody who has been to a muslim country knows what you little muslim boys get up to before you manage toget your hands on some fat thing in a bed sheet.

17 July 2006 at 15:34  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Three Olive Martini,

Quite understand. Temptation is an awful thing. Cranmer can also rarely resist fanning certain flames.

Mr Phone Cam Foolery,

I take it you can't resist temptation either...

Miss Person,

If you knew anything about history or theology, you would appreciate why a Hindu may be very knowledgeable indeed about Sikhism.

17 July 2006 at 17:14  
Anonymous three olive martini said...

It's Miss, but thank you for your understanding...

17 July 2006 at 20:14  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Apologies,

Cranmer finds it impossible to sex some nom-de-plumes, though he confesses to liking the sound of you, if, ordinarily, he takes only one olive.

17 July 2006 at 20:50  
Blogger Croydonian said...

Sorry to be pedantic (no, I'm not...), but the plural is noms de plume...

17 July 2006 at 23:56  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Quite right, Mr Croydonian, quite right.

An uncharacteristic moment of imprecision on Cranmer's part. It is very hot at the moment with this beard.

18 July 2006 at 03:47  
Blogger Croydonian said...

Sometimes even Homer nods....

18 July 2006 at 11:32  
Anonymous Kaila said...

'You Muslims should try it, then maybe so many of you wouldnt turn out to be homosexuals'

Phoney, check out the statistics. I think you will find more homesexuals in your religion rather than Islam. Like with any religion, there are goodies.........and then naughties.

Are you telling me you have not looked at another woman and thought indecently...? Or are you trying to tell us something. It is ok 'hun', you can come out of the closet. Time has changed, they won't burn you or do nasty things. It is accepted ............well it has to be with so many around.

18 July 2006 at 21:00  
Anonymous Rick said...

check out the statistics. I think you will find more homesexuals in your religion rather than Islam.

That is a statement of such banality it beggars belief that anyone could have been sufficiently mentally-challenged to make it.

How many stamp-collectors does Islam boast ? Is that in The Great Muslim Book of Interesting Facts ? How many illiterates can Islam boast ? How many left-handed cyclists ?

19 July 2006 at 07:22  
Blogger Croydonian said...

I would be rather difficult to collate such data given that homosexuality / lesbianism is illegal in many Muslim majority countries. Details here.

19 July 2006 at 09:23  
Blogger phone cam foolery said...

Croydonian take a trip to Turkey or Morroco , it may be illegal , but conversely it also seems to be compulsory.

19 July 2006 at 20:14  
Anonymous someone said...

phoney, judge islam by its laws (a.k.a the shariat) rather than how ppl put such laws to practise or whether they even follow them adequately.

20 July 2006 at 09:36  
Blogger Opinionated Youth said...

once again cranmer and phoney are the tag team against islam i see....

27 July 2006 at 13:34  
Anonymous H Singh said...

I think you will find that you are totally misinformed now that that the BBC has apologised to Sikhs in the UK. The whole outdoor cremation issue was raised by the Hindu's who quoted the Sikhs just for the sake of it.... Perhaps this Blog could focus on the 82,000 turbanned Sikhs who died for Britain in the second world war and the first world war - or perhaps the fact that unlike troublesome communities who are attacking Britain in the name of God , Sikhs are peaceloving anf highly prosperous with the most home ownership when compared to all religious groups. Lets all go to Blockbuster and hire a copy of the English patient to remind ourselves of the sacrifice of the Sikhs. God Bless you all

H Singh (all Sikhs have the middle name Singh which means Lion , it goes back to 1699 when the tenth Guru Gobind Singh created a milatery fraternity to fight Islamic aggression in the form of the mighty Moghul empire - let members of this Blog understand clearly Sikhs have fought the jihad from their very origin - perhaps thats why we stand up for our rights when all other means fail- Europe may not live to tell the tale vs Islam but we certainly have.)

12 January 2007 at 20:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I REALLY DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW SOME OF THE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO LEAVE SOME OF THEIR COMMENTS AS THEY ARE ON THIS SITE. I AM A SIKH BARRISTER, WHO ALTHOUGH WAS NOT BORN IN INDIA OR ENGLAND, LIKES TO THINK THAT HE HAS AN UNDERSTANDING OF ALL FAITHS AND THEIR CUSTOMS. IT'S NOT BEING IGNORANT TO BRITISH CULTURE BY FOLLOWING THE TEACHING OF ONES RELIGIONS AND THOSE BIGOTED IDIOTS THAT HAVE PUT SUCH COMMENTS ON THIS SITE SHOULD SHUT THEIR MOUTHS AND THINK CAREFULLY ABOUT WHAT THEY ARE ABOUT TO PORTRAY AS THEIR VIEWS TO OTHERS. EVEN THOUGH CHRISTIANITY DOES NOT PERMIT HOMOSEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS, ITS STILL BECOME LEGAL IN ENGLAND NOW BEACUSE OF THE RESPECT EVERYONE IS GIVEN ABOUT THEIR WAY OF LIFE, SO WHY SHOULDN'T A SIKH, IF THEY WANT, HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE CREMATED IN THE WAY THEY WANT? I THINK THAT INDIVIDUALS SHOULD REALISE THAT IN LIFE, AN INDIVIDUAL HAS CHOICE AND OPTIONS WHICH SHOULD NOT ALWAYS NECESSARILY BE FOLLOWED BY LAW, AND YES I AM HAPPY SAYING THAT COMMENT BEING A CRIMINAL BARRISTER!!!

12 March 2008 at 20:53  
Blogger Cranmer said...

There is absolutely no need to shout, barrister or not.

The reason that people may leave their comments upon His Grace's blog is precisely the same liberty that permits you to make your point and for it to remain on here also. Their presence neither implies His Grace's assent nor dissent from these views.

People disagree. Does that make you right? Just because you are a barrister?

13 March 2008 at 19:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree with this barrister that has left the comment on this site (whoeva they may be) and i think the rest should f*%* off!!!

21 May 2008 at 17:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If people are not happy with the law they can vote to change it ...

http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/funeralpyre/

13 May 2009 at 16:25  

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