In Surah Al Imran, the Quran declares, “Every soul will taste death,” prompting contemplation on the tradition of reserving graves. It reflects profound trust in God, securing final resting places with the acknowledgment of life’s inevitable end. However, this practice raises questions about the uncertainty surrounding one’s demise.
Despite reserving graves, individuals may overlook that their chosen resting place may not align with the course of their fate. The capricious nature of death challenges the assumption that a predetermined grave guarantees the fulfilment of one’s final journey. The unknown aspects of death beckon deep contemplation.
Legitimate grievances arise about the exorbitant cost of burial plots, exacerbated by a ‘graveyard mafia’ in cities like Karachi, reserving and selling plots at exorbitant prices. This financial strain is severe for the less fortunate, adding an unfortunate layer of injustice to an already distressing situation.
The issue extends beyond Karachi, infiltrating other urban areas grappling with similar grave mafias. Reports of unscrupulous practices, such as unauthorised relocation of bodies to resell plots, underscore the severity of the problem. Old graveyards become targets for real estate ventures, eroding the sanctity of burial grounds.
In the face of alarming realities, urgent intervention by district administrations becomes imperative. A decisive crackdown on the grave land mafia is vital to curb these heinous crimes and alleviate the suffering of individuals, both in life and death. The government must ensure that land is exclusively reserved for graves, providing a dignified and secure final resting place for all citizens.
Legal frameworks must be fortified to shield graves from desecration. The Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) touches upon this issue, but more comprehensive laws are needed, imposing strict penalties, such as life imprisonment, on those involved in grave desecration and land mafia activities.
The government’s role extends beyond punitive measures. Proactive steps, such as the strategic allocation of land for graveyards and transparent processes, can alleviate the burden on citizens. Balancing cultural practices and safeguarding against exploitation is paramount.
The juxtaposition of reserving graves with the unpredictable nature of death raises critical questions about the societal and economic aspects of this practice. Government intervention, marked by a rigorous crackdown on grave mafias and clear legal frameworks, is imperative. By safeguarding the sanctity of burial grounds and addressing socio-economic disparities in funeral practices, the government can ensure that individuals rest in peace, free from exploitation even in death. The dignity of death should not be compromised, and every effort should be made to protect the sanctity of final resting places.
MUJEEB ALI SAMO,