In many of the sacred Hindu texts a dead person is treated with dignity. A classic case is the mythological epic, the Ramayana. After a prolonged battle, Lord Rama had killed Ravana, the mighty demon king. At this point Vibhishana, the younger brother of Ravana was reluctant to perform the last rites reminiscing the evil deeds of his brother, when alive. Lord Rama intervened and said that, 'He is unto me as he is unto you'. Lord Rama, the ideal man also said that as long as a man is alive the ego in him makes him do a lot of evil deeds, for which he will face the consequences. But, once the soul departs the body, the body has to be treated with due dignity as there is no ego left.
It is ironical to say that 1 out of 4 so called high caste villagers hold the Ramayana in high esteem and read it regularly. But, what's the use? There is no point in mere reading without implementing the principles laid dwon. Mahatma Gandhi had preached and practised that untouchability is a social evil. Successive Governments have provided reservations in education and employment for the uplift of the downtrodden and oppressed classes. All this appears a mere eyewash, with the surfacing of such incidents, even after 50 years of independance. Is there light at the end of the tunnel?