Rayomand Coins

The dakhma dilemma

How far does one go to preserve a custom? If it’s a religious one there appears to be no bounds. Faced with aging pallbearers, the Karachi Parsi Anjuman Trust Fund has introduced an electronically operated lifter to raise the body to the entrance door of the port city’s tower of silence (see "Lifting up the dead," pg 14). The equipment that cost Rs 1.28 million (USD 17,128) will be utilized for the 30 to 40 Parsis corpses consigned to the dakhma annually. Aside from a perennial shortage of priests, the pallbearers are also an endangered species. The present four......

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Villoo Poonawalla