Shocking… or is it?

Came across this piece of news.

It’s a short article, so here it is, verbatim:

2000 women whipped for 5 hours by priests

Like every Dussera, thousands gathered to pray at a 300-year-old temple in Tamil Nadu’s Namakkal district. What followed next was unspeakable horror.

Two thousand teenagers and children, some as young as 10, were whipped by the temple’s priests. For five hours. The priests’ explanation: This whipping is a cure-all. Some 10-year-olds were lashed for not studying enough. Others were attacked for being slow to attain puberty. And menstruating teens were hit for being impure. The priests say this is nothing new. “We have been practicing this ritual for 300 years,” declares Thangavelu, a priest.

The shocking scenes were filmed by local channels, none of whom called for help. Like others in this area, they find nothing absurd about what they saw. Tradition is tradition, they say.

The women can be seen gasping for breath, many are sobbing their hearts out. But the faith is unshakeable. Radhika, a devotee, says, “We believe that when we are whipped, we will get rid of all our mental and physical ailments and evil spirits.”

‘Women’?? Should the headline not have read ‘Children’?

I wonder how long it will take us to finally realize that the priests that we follow blindly are as human as the rest of us, and as impure and shrouded in selfishness. Maybe even more than the rest of us in some cases. Education, they say, does the trick. No, it doesn’t. Even the most educated people can be blind to faith, and adept at keeping the logical part of their brain asleep when they need to.

When will we get it into our heads that you are who you are because of who you are, and not because of what your surname or ancestry is? People are not born equal, but what makes them apart is their ability – physically and mentally – not their surnames.

A comment on the post suggests that the government should take ‘serious measures’ against these practices. Hm. The ‘government’, by definition, governs society – and it bases its work on socially accepted norms. These norms are different between regions, and so are the laws in different lands. Does the commenter really believe that the majority of the Indian population believes that the local priest is wrong?

Also, I’m reminded of a quote that a TV channel used during Sourav Ganguly’r farewell (yes, here I go again with Sourav references): “A good leader takes his men where they want to go; a great leader takes his men where they ought to go.” True, and I don’t think the Indian governing system is even a ‘good’ one overall.

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