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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

As I Lay Dying 

The casual brutality of the world’s oldest “way of life” reasserts itself as rusty knives and rustier beliefs are brandished yet again. Shrugging off fervent entreaties from a few disparate directions, hordes of devotees swarmed to at the Gadhimai temple premises in southern Nepal where over a lakh animals are to be ritually slaughtered.

There have been some muted and some strident protests – Bardot, Maneka Gandhi, PETA and assorted groups, but they appear to have only strengthened the religious Hindu fanatics who merrily plan to decapitate buffalo, goats and even pigeons. Gadhimai ( can be translated to mean “ Mother of Donkeys” ) is apparently a Goddess of Power who upon propitiation through this barbaric killing every five years fulfils wishes of her worshippers and curbs evil and brings prosperity, one is told.

It would appear that a lot of Indians have time on their hands as people from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Bengal also head off to participate carrying with them their posse of animals to kill during the bloodletting. It may be a political ploy in the world’s only Hindu nation to play along with an implicit appeasement and sponsorship of these illiterate multitudes, but as events in India have shown, Hell Hath no Fury like a Mob challenged. The Nepal Government has ended up deploying state machinery to protect the site and has even pledged a token amount while footing the bill on subsidies for this Holocaus(e).

That no pearls of wisdom have been seen or heard from the Mutts and those Saffron Robes is disconcerting but predictable. After all, why would want to interfere in a harmless outlet that accords so many devotees their heart’s content and cements gruesome practice as sanctified and even encouraged hoary tradition. It’s only those animals and who’d bother with them ? And Life continues as Hinduism continues to abet prejudice, discrimination and veiled racism


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