Ritual Crimes: Disturbed India
Author: Shreya Yadav
College: UPES, Dehradun
Being burnt, killed and sexually abused in the name of religion is not history. It is still being practiced in India and many different parts of the world. India is a place of many contrasts-as the cliché goes. People of a different religion, caste, and creed live in India making India a religiously diversified country, a land of oldest and most magical, cultures, religion, and customs but there are some rituals which put India to shame. These are bizarre and are heinous crimes in the eyes of law as killing a person, sexually abusing a person. Religion is a great thing but when ritual crimes rock the domain of religion, it sets you thinking. Morality is a thing on which one must hold on but when it comes to religion it vanishes. Dr. Harish, a psychiatrist, explains what pushes human into such activities by saying, ‘Man is a beast with really strong urges. Evolution has made a primal creature man rather more altruistic. Regression in a culturally approved situation is normal. Some cultures attempt to impose control over communities.’ As there are numerous, some of the shocking ritual traditions followed in India are talked down:
- Firstly, the Aghori saints who are famous for their post-mortem rituals. They worship Lord Shiva and are saints of Varanasi but for them, nothing is a taboo either it being there unconventional sexual practices, drugs[i], alcohol or even Cannibalism (it is the eating of the flesh of human beings.) As we know Hindu saints or monks are against meat, but the Aghori saints are openly cannibalistic. They are also involved in sexual intercourse with the dead bodies. The saints and monks are those whom the people worship, from this we can see what impact it creates on the people as the Aghori saints drink alcohol and do drugs and eat human flesh that is their way of living.
- Secondly, female genital mutilation. This ritual is the most brutal practice that exists even today. In this the removal of partial or total external female genitalia (clitoris, labia minora, labia majora) that is done using a razor of a blade with or more often without the use of anesthesia. This ritual is done in the name of controlling women’s sexuality. Even hearing these kinds of rituals gives goosebumps in the whole body. What do the people practicing them think of? Where does there morality go? Are women not as equal[ii] as anyone else even if it is for their sexual desires? Sex is such a taboo in India; why can’t people take it as a natural human phenomenon for the living and expansion of humans.
- Thirdly, human sacrifice or ritual killing which has been practiced from ages and sadly it still exists in India. As the name suggests human kill or murder a human being as an offering to god. Seriously, is it a tradition which is followed in India? Don’t dare think of this as a tradition, it is crime under section 300[iii]. The funniest part is that it is done to please the Lord. As there are many cases which we have been hearing, there is a hilarious case of Hanuman Bhumij of Assam. In this case, a four-year girl was killed by sorcerers and offered a blood sacrifice to find the lost phone of the daughter of Hanuman Bhumij. Is this really humane?
From the discussions above, it's concluded that people on the name of religion do such bizarre and shocking ritual traditions which must be stopped by spreading awareness in the rural parts, as in the rural areas most of these kinds of things happen. India, a developing country must change and accept some new things rather being rigid and inflexible for their religion. Many people in India are standing against these rituals, hopefully, it will be stopped and will put an end to ritual crimes. It will be made illegal and boycotted by the people itself. For being totally stopped it must be boycotted by the people themselves as people are the changing parameter for these ritual crimes.
[i] NDPS Act, 1985, it prohibits a person to produce, manufacture, cultivate, possess, sell purchase, store, transport, and or consume any narcotic drug.
[ii] Article 14, The Indian Constitution
[iii] Indian Penal Code, 1860.
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