Governance not a game of numbers

Updated: 2014-11-04 16:41

By Li Yang(

  Comments() Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

To promote cremation is by no means to force the grassroots civil authorities to cremate a certain number of bodies before a deadline, or make the number of bodies cremated as a criterion to assess local governments’ performance or working ability. Or, the number game will make governance an absurd drama, says an article in the Beijing News. Excerpts:

Three suspected thieves are on trial for allegedly stealing bodies in Beiliu of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. They are civil servants in the town government. Stealing bodies is to fulfill the cremation task assigned by the higher authority. In some other places, local governments even buy bodies to cremate to show to the seniors that they actively support the pro-cremation campaign.

Cremation can save land. But under current rules, cremation is compulsory in China. It is the government’s fault to make the number of cremated bodies an indicator of local governments’ working ability. Governance becomes a rigid trick of numbers. The purpose of funeral and interment reform is to serve the people.

It is necessary to promote cremation in China to save land. But the goal cannot justify the absurd means employed by the government, which is against the fundamental principle of government work.