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Polevaulter Donkeyman's rants, raves musings and flame wars

Barbaric?

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The following headline caught my eye

The barbaric tradition of ritual baby tossing: Priests hurl children 30ft from temple balcony for ‘good luck’

So what is this barbaric tradition?

In certain parts of India babies are tossed from a temple (as in a generic place of worship; this practice is carried out by Hindus and Muslims) roof (around a height of 30-50ft) and are caught in a cloth stretched out by a number of people. Parents do this because they think it will bring luck and good health to their child.

Here is a representative video

  

One Lov Verma, from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, says

‘I’m absolutely shocked by this. It’s not simply the government’s job. We need to educate all those who take part in this barbaric practice – the temple priests and the community.’

A similar such incident was covered by the Daily Telegraph a few years ago. There too a goverment apparatchik, deputy commissioner for the Bijapur district, R. Shantaraj, said

“As I am new to the district, I did not know about the unusual ritual, which is inhuman and terrifying for babies. “I intend to prevent the people from indulging in such acts [in future].”

A few thoughts:

  1. How is this inhuman and terrifying for babies? Were any babies interviewed?
  2. As to the baby crying, babies cry all the time. Does the fact that a baby cries justify government intervention into the family?
  3. To the Daily Mail and Lov Verma: What is so barbaric about this practice?
    1. Do you have any data about injuries to babies in this practice?
    2. Do you have any data about the physical and psychological effects on grown up people who were once tossed as babies?
    3. Do you think this practice is more barbaric than circumcision?
      1. If not, why not?
      2. If yes, why are you then not campaigning to ban circumcision? Is it because the pro-circumcision lobby is more numerous and powerful than the pro-baby tossing lobby?
  4. In case anyone believes I am pro-baby tossing, I couldn’t care less what people do to their children in the name of religion, as long as there are no objective indicia of harm
  5. On the question of whether it is stupid that people do it for religious purposes, that is a different question entirely and addressing that would be outside the scope of this post. In short all religion is stupid. Telling children lies that Santa, Easter Bunny, Old Man in the Sky exist and some arbitrary rules must be followed because they are “religion” is also mental abuse and patronizing. Why can’t children be taught the truth from day one?

A wonderful quote from the comments in the Daily Mail article

  • Barbarism is entering other nations and bombing and killing them for democracy. – EUSSR, London, 09/4/2012 12:07

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Written by Polevaulter Donkeyman

April 9, 2012 at 14:38

Posted in Uncategorized

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