Thursday, August 5, 2010

Faith-Healing Superstitions Hogging On Kids

1. Would you ever prefer to follow a 500 year old belief that asks you to throw your infant into a well from 50 ft, for a holy dip and protecting him from all disabilities? You might not, but people of Sangli, Maharashtra and many other places have been following this inhuman tradition since years, eager to gift a healthy life to their kids. Dangling and tossing the grieving kid down in the water.
2. Pray for a child at Baba Sheikh Umar Saheb Dargah in Musti village in Solapur, Maharashtra and the couple will have to follow a strange custom after the child has born. Throw the child from a considerable height onto a sheet held by devotees and the child is blessed with good health! Isn’t that easy? They claim that the tradition wouldn’t harm the child in anyway. Might be. Might be not. I wonder how the parents turn a blind eye to their infant’s fear and a deaf ear to their distraught screams. The heart wrenching scene of an unprotected child in the air gives Goosebumps and begs to legally ban this bizarre ritual.

Pity on their belief: the religion would be destroyed if they destroy superstition. Lately the word superstition couldn’t be imagined without the inverted commas because ‘superstition’ for one, is ‘religion’ for the other. Call it a supernatural force or the extra human force for positive or negative intervention in their life, superstition dominates almost all divisions of the society irrespective of illiterates and literates, wise and fools, rich and poor, young and adult. It’s an emergency call for government to intervene as it strongly challenges our sensibility.
Soul, Media and the Law
Soul budging incident of children being beaten up by some pseudo babas and gurus under a delusion that it would treat the kid, fills us with pity towards those children. Then the media who bothers to break the news: how the hot milk and kheer are poured on an infant in disguise of tradition or superstition which they script as ‘marmic anubhav’. But do they trouble themselves to check if any casualties have taken place or what happens to the child after the hollow tradition is accomplished?
“Throwing a child from height or battering to treat them in the name of tradition doesn’t prove to be legal at all. If the human rights commission is informed about such inhuman activities, then the cognisance is forwarded to the concerned authorities for necessary actions,” quotes Manish Mishra, Press Officer, Chhattisgarh State Human Rights Commission.
Noticeably, actions are taken only after the incident has crossed all borders of humanity. Like the case of childless couple in Hingoli village sacrificed rather killed five kids on the behest of a tantrik. Killing eleven kids would bless them with a baby boy, he assured the couple. Shielded by superstition, the couple went about poisoning children and buried the bodies in the village. But were trapped after killing five innocent children, though it was quite late for parents who lost their kids.
State Affairs
Even Chhattisgarh isn’t in the rear, people here irresistibly follow the superstitious practices of black magic, witch craft, tantra-mantra, animal sacrifice and now children sacrifice! And because a child couldn’t be sacrificed in case of ‘ang-bhang’ (physical abnormality) people in Bastar region slice off an organ of their child. Then they feel quite secure that their mutilated child wouldn’t be kidnapped and sacrificed. What a ‘sacrifice’! Isn’t this the irony side of inhumanity?
Another strange tradition is giving strange names to the children with a belief to protect them from evils and death! Names that has no meaning or the disapproving ones like Pakri (fakir), Pichai (beggar), Tamta, Bhatuiya, Chirri, Farra, Bhegga etc.. are given to children. I recently met a kid called Bhakoli, when asked the meaning of his name he said “nai maloom” “Mummy ne rakha kyunki mere do bade bhai Ajay aur Shyam mar gaye na”!!!! The awful reply from a six year old kid forced me to talk to his parents. “We just want to save our child from evil and death, two of our children have already died and we are told that a name without meaning would gift life to Bhakoli,” they said.
But on the cost of troubling the child’s psychology?
Warns the Psychologist
“The harsh treatment and incidents affect the subconscious mind of the child that further connects to consciousness in later stage of life. This is when child behaves with intense aversion towards his parents and start hating them,” warns Dr Maya Verma, a Child Psychologist in Raipur. She said that the bad experiences of life trap the raw mind of child that grows injurious till the adolescence, resulting in offensive behaviour towards the parents.
Call for Awareness
If something on the positive node is to be done then it’s awareness. Campaigning, conducting workshops, seminars, educating people and counseling are the measures that could bring improvement if not changes. Being on the stricter side severe punishment should be imposed against the superstition practices specially which claims injury and life. On spot detention is the need of hour that could create fear in the minds of people before they plan to throw their child into a well.
They need blessings from mind not the uncanny power.


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