Caixin OnlineOpinionCommentaries When Tradition is Flattened by Policy
11.22.2012 14:58

When Tradition is Flattened by Policy

Officials in Henan have leveled millions of graves in the drive for land, and a bureaucratic system that cares little for people's feelings is to blame
By Wang Yong
 
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Lately, a "tomb-flattening policy" in Henan Province has been creating intense controversy. Millions of tombs have reportedly been destroyed by local authorities so graveyards can be converted into farmland.

This policy can be seen as the historical continuity of the funeral reform implemented after the founding of the People's Republic in 1949, when burials were discouraged and cremation became mandatory to save land.

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