Children buried alive in name of religion

Topic started by Ramakrishna (@ on Thu Aug 22 11:55:48 .
All times in EST +10:30 for IST.

here is something to cause more outrage-

Chennai, Aug 22 (IANS) Tamil Nadu woke up Thursday to shocking pictures of unconscious children being momentarily buried alive during a temple ritual.

Reports here said as many as 105 children -- boys and girls between 4 and 20 years of age -- were used in the burial ritual, called the pit festival, in Madurai district, about 500 km south of here.

State Urban Development Minister C. Durairaj, who hails from the region, watched the children being buried at a temple in Perayur village, about 50 km from the temple town of Madurai.

The minister said he was "invited by the community" and had no comments on the practice that child rights groups call abusive.

The temple authorities claim the children are buried "only for a minute" while their parents offer prayers hoping their wishes will be granted.

Chandra Thanikachalam, joint secretary of the Indian Council of Child Welfare (ICCW), told IANS: "Although we have no reports of such a tradition, it is dangerous for children. ICCW is against any glorification of such practices cruel to the child. The effect on the child can be extremely traumatic."

The ritual, locals told reporters, is traditional in the area and has been observed for 400 years. It is held once every seven years.

The ritual takes place in the temple of goddesses Muthukuzhi Mariamman and Kaliamman. Families make promises to the deities and, to fulfil their vows, their children are buried alive. The girls chosen for the ceremony are younger than eight years of age.

The child is tired out or given sedatives and covered in holy ash and turmeric paste by the family. The child has to become unconscious. If this does not happen, the ritual is cancelled and the family fined Rs.1,000.

The unconscious or semi-conscious child is then wrapped in a yellow cloth by the parents and taken to the temple. On the temple ground, a pit is dug and the child buried alive for a few seconds while mantras are chanted. The parents break coconuts during the time as offerings to the goddesses.

The child is then taken out of the pit and daylong celebrations follow.


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