A US-based Hindu activist is calling for Malta to allow Hindus based in the country to use traditional open pyres until a proper crematorium was built and available to use.
“Malta, not having mechanism for the cremation of deceased Hindus, was forcing the community to bury their loved ones in contradiction of their long-held beliefs that burial hindered soul’s journey,” Rajan Zed, the President of Universal Society of Hinduism, said in a statement.
While cremation was legalised in Malta last May, the details are still being ironed out, specifically whether the island should have a single crematorium or open the market up.
Labour MP Rosianne Cutajar, who spearheaded the cremation, has maintained that a single crematorium is the most viable option given Malta’s relatively low population and death count.
However, Malta, Zed argued, should follow its constitution and respect the free exercise of religious worship. There were an estimated 840 people who practise the Hindu faith according to the Pew Research Centre.
Zed’s solution was for the government to allot a cremation ground near a body of water where Hindus could cremate their deceased on open pyres.
Rajan Zed was of the view that as a dominating majority in Malta, Catholics also had a moral responsibility to take care of minority brothers/sisters from different faith backgrounds, and should thus also seek equal treatment for all.