If people cannot live together in society stratified by caste, can they at least be united after death? Revenue Minister V. Srinivas Prasad raised this question before announcing that an order would soon be issued on providing “common” burial grounds in villages to bury people of all castes.
Replying to a question raised by Congress MLC K. Govindraj on Wednesday in the Legislative Council, the Minister said he was aware of acute shortage of space for burial grounds, while there had been incessant demands by different caste groups to provide ground to bury their dead.
“We will stop providing separate grounds for various castes from now on. Instead, there will be one common burial ground for all. However, those who have private ground can go ahead and bury their dead there if they wish,” he said.
He had taken the whole House into confidence before arriving at this decision since it was a “sensitive” issue, the Minister said. He said that this move, it was hoped, would bring about “social transformation.” These common grounds would be maintained by zilla and gram panchayats, he said. The Minister said that land reserved for burial grounds had been encroached upon in 13 districts. The extent of encroachment was highest in Kolar at 377 acres, followed by Chickballapur at 155.34 acres. In Bangalore city, 32.37 acres had been encroached upon. He said that an order on clearing encroachments had been issued.