Covid 19 - and the Right to be cremated decently (Paper)

  • Ruchi Nehra, Banasthali Vidyapith
  • August 30, 2021

Content :

The most basic right to which a person is entitled is the right to live with dignity, a dignified procedure of death and a dignified cremation. Over the years, this right has been enumerated as an implied Fundamental Right under the heading of Article 21 of the Constitution of India, as well as a Human right all across the world. Indian judiciary has many times and when needed pronounced about the right to decent cremation. It would not be wrong to say that cremation is a significant and mandatory rite that should be performed so that the soul can rest peacefully and start its journey over again. Every religion supports the last rites in their own way which is why the right to decent cremation has a huge backing from the cultural aspect. “Death must be beautiful”, Wilde has said. Moreover, beautiful and respectful must be the way of saying goodbye.  
But due to the pandemic COVID-19, we have seen how the corpses were thrown into the river, burnt with tyres, piled up and buried or burnt to ashes. The deceased doesn’t deserve such disregard even though they were infected with COVID. Therefore, this paper has tried to explain the right of the dead- the right to decent cremation/burial in depth with the help of judicial pronouncements. It would also deal with the position of the right during COVID time and how various agencies came forward to protect the right of the dead.