Superstition Was At Its Bizarre Best in Sholapure, Maharashtra

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Children Were Thrown From 50Ft Height in a Durga in the Sholapur – District Administration Was Mute Spectator.

It was bizarre, disgusting, inhuman and cruel religious practice of throwing new born children from a height of 50ft from the 4th floor, in what was called 700 year old religious ritual being practices year after year on the belief that would bring health and prosperity to the children.

This has happened in a Durga in Sholapur, where 400 parents stood in que to witness the ritual of throwing their children from the height of 50ft. with no fear whatsoever on their faces. As I watched the clippings, I had my heart in my mouth. How could any sane man accept that throwing of children from a height of the 4th floor, would make them healthy and bring prosperity? It was certainly not a religious Islamic practice but a superstitious one. What if the perpetrators were Muslims? They too were the victims of superstition and all men honour should condemned it in strongest terms. I join with them in expressing my deep anguish besides condemning it.

I do not know the name of Sufi Saint buried there in the Durga, where Muslim and Hindu parents came in large number to witness the annual ritual of risking the lives of their children. What was intriguing was the callousness with which the district administration has been allowing these practices to take place year after year. It was not a sudden development, it is happening for the last 700 years.

Why was the police present there failed to stop this ritual? A Police Sub-Inspector spoke to the HT reporter in front of the camera and said that it was a ritual practiced year after year and that no accident or mishap was reported. Even both Muslim and Hindu parents were seen talking to the reporters with a smile on their faces, saying that they had no fear for the lives of their wards, as their firm religious belief was that it would bring good health to the children and prosperity to their families. This is happening in 21st Century and that to in a Muslim tradition, is more unfortunate.

Islam per se strictly prohibits such superstitious practices. If this is being done in the name of Islamic traditions, it is absolutely wrong and deserved to be condemned. I firmly believe neither the saint who is buried in that Durga would have ever preached such superstitious practices. This might be an invention of some people surrounding the Durga at Sholapur to make the place popular. If this is happening year after year with the full knowledge of the Govt. and administration there, it is nothing but callousness with no regard to the lives of innocent kids, who were badly shaken of their hearts before thrown from such a height. I could not stand the sight of such a ghastly practice, how could the parents tolerate it and encourage it. This is disgusting and it should be stopped at least in the future.

It may be made clear here, Islam does not permit such exhibition of superstitious practices. As a matter of fact, Islam was founded to remove such superstitious and inhuman practices prevalent in the society. But when it is being done at a Durga, where a Sufi Saint might be buried some years ago, calls for highest condemnation. All the NGOs and Human Rights Organisations should stand up to them and see that those responsible are brought to book and prevent recurrence of it in future.

Those who have watched Headlines Today news channel would have had their heart in their mouth unable to stand the sight of such ghastly practices in the name of religion or saint. Congress Spokesperson Singhvi was seen condemning it and called for action against all those responsible. I hope the district adminstration will wake up and take action in this regard. Jai Hind.

A.M. Jamsheed Basha is a Chennai-based columnist, political commentator, who writes on matters of importance, political, social and self-improvement.