The Association of the Dead

An old (but still current) news story from India never gained much attention outside of the country, but seems worth sharing.

For over thirty years, corruption and bribery have allowed people to declare others ‘dead’ – without formal evidence – thus allowing the claimant to take ownership of the deceased’s farming land. The newly ‘dead’ will usually know nothing of their passing until they have some formal interaction with a government service, where they will be told that they are dead and are therefore not entitled to the service.

One such victim, who was officially dead for 18 years, formed The Association of the Dead to raise awareness of the issue: “The Association seeks to reverse the declarations, call attention to the problem and prevent others from being exploited in similar fashion.”

When was the last time you had to check if you were dead?