Varanasi too has its share of bodies floating in Ganga
Varanasi: The unearthing of over 80 human bodies in the Ganga in Unnao may have the country mystified, but a research report on year-on-year disposal of bodies in the river conducted by environment expert and Ganga researcher B D Tripathi suggests more than 3,000 bodies were disposed of in the river in a year in just the Varanasi stretch of the river.
瓦拉纳西: 在乌纳奥恒河流段发现的80多具尸体也许让这个国家感到费解，但环境专家、恒河研究人员B D 曲帕西做的关于这河中拋尸的年度对比研究报告指出，仅在恒河瓦纳拉西流域，一年内抛入河中的尸体就在3,000具以上。
The report also refers to Supreme Court orders that ban the disposal of dead bodies in the river by any community. The court's 1998 ruling also holds civic authorities of the concerned area responsible for ensuring proper last rites of any bodies that are found in the river. Contrary to this order, though, local administrations fight shy of taking responsibility for such acts. They claim that the practice of disposing of bodies in the river is gradually reducing due to awareness among the people.
"During our study a couple of years back, we documented 3,028 human bodies of adults and infants and about 6,000 bodies of animals floating in Ganga in a year," said Tripathi. On an average Varanasi witnesses eight to 10 bodies floating in the holy river every day.
"Bodies were frequently seen a few years back. But now the number of such bodies has come down as people are becoming aware about the harmful effects of the practice of disposing of bodies in the river," claimed mahant of Sankat Mochan Temple Vishwambhar Nath Mishra.
“几年前，见到尸体很频繁。但现在这种尸体数量已经下降，因为人们开始意识到在这条河抛尸这一习贯做法的害处，” Sankat Mochan 寺庙的大智米希拉说。
The members of the large boatmen community also attested Mishra's view and said that there was a decline in the number of bodies found floating in the Ganga. "We generally notice five-10 bodies per week in the Ganga," said Vinod Kumar Nishad, president of Maa Ganga Nishadraj Seva Samiti. A member of Yuva Nishad Samiti, Bhola Gaud, said that whenever they notice a floating body in the Ganga they pull it out of the stream to the sand bed with the help of municipal staff to prevent contamination of river. He, however, was not forthcoming of what was done to the body lter.
船民大族群中也有人证明了米希拉的看法，並说恒河浮尸数量有下降。一般我们每周在恒河中发现5到10具尸体，”MGMSS组织主席V K 尼沙德说。一位YNS成员B 苟德说，每当他们在恒河中发现一具浮尸，就会在市政人员帮助下从水中捞出，放到沙岸上，防止污染河水。然而，至于这尸体后来是怎么弄的，他不愿直说。
In Hindu tradition, bodies of infants and minor, not sanctified by 'Yagyopavit Samskrara', are immersed in the river, the mahant said, adding that the bodies with snake bite are also left in the stream. "Two principles work in immersing the body of a person died of snake bite in the stream. One is that the impact of poison may get diluted in the water stream, thus save his or her life and other belief is that the floating body may fall in hands of any tantric, who can save the life," he said. "It is only a belief," Tripathi added.
"Some people, who cannot afford the cost of cremation, also dispose the bodies in Ganga, believing that it would give a direct passage to heaven," Tripathi said. "But, in any case it is not permitted to dispose of bodies into the river." Allahabad High Court in 1998 had directed that no unclaimed body should be disposed into the river. Besides, the municipal bodies were also directed to pull out the bodies from the river for proper disposal.
There is also a belief that the bodies having chickenpox are not cremated and disposed of in the river. "But, scientifically it is a wrong belief, as this practice contaminates the water," Dr Arvind Singh, a dermatologist, said. The Hindu tradition allows 'Jal Samadhi' in which the dead body is tied with heavy stone and put into the river in the midstream only, so that it can be eaten by water creatures, he said.
还有一种信念，出水痘的尸体不可火化，要下入河中。“但是，科学地讲，这种信念是错误的，因为这种做法污染水质，”皮肤病专家、A 辛格说。印度教传统允许 '贾尔薩玛地', 这种做法是把尸体绑上重石块，只准沉放在水流中央，因此可被水中生物吃掉，他说。
A seven-km stretch of the Ganga from Rajghat to Ramnagar Fort is a tortoise sanctuary declared after the launch of Ganga Action Plan (GAP). The city has two cremation places at Manikarnika Ghat and Harishchandra Ghat, where bodies are also brought from different neighbouring districts for cremation.