gosumercogito.blogspot.com/2014/11/bloodthistry-hindus.html4 days ago - IN Nepal it is said the Hindu goddess Ghadimai needs blood, and blood she shall get this weekend as the tiny Himalayan nation hosts one of ...
Goddess’s bloodlust to be sated in Nepal’s orgy of slaughter
- The Australian
- November 29, 2014
IN Nepal it is said the Hindu goddess Ghadimai needs blood, and blood she shall get this weekend as the tiny Himalayan nation hosts one of the world’s biggest animal sacrifices.As many as 250,000 animals will be ritually beheaded in the Ghadimai Festival, a religious event which occurs every five years in the tiny southern Nepalese town of Bariyapur, much to the distress of hundreds of millions of vegetarian Hindus in neighbouring India.
But that is half the number of hapless buffalo, goats, birds and mice whose blood last soaked the Himalayan landscape in 2009 thanks to an Indian Supreme Court order this year that no animals should be taken to Nepal for sacrifice.
In recent days, about 2000 buffalo and 40,000 goats have been confiscated on the Indian side of the border and 120 people have been arrested as they have tried to make their way across the border into Nepal to make their blood offerings to the goddess of power.
Animal rights activists have also converged on the Nepalese town, 100km south of Kathmandu, for the mass slaughter, which began yesterday, in the hopes of dissuading devotees.
India’s Humane Society International country director Jayasimha Nuggehali, in Bariyapur for the event, wrote this week of an orgy of slaughter in which calves tried to “nuzzle comfort from the severed heads of their mothers lying on the ground”.
“Pools of blood, animals bellowing in pain and panic, wide-eyed children looking on, devotees covered in animal blood, and some people even drinking blood from the headless but still warm carcasses.”
HSI India spokeswoman Navamita Mukherjee yesterday said the festival was not a Hindu tradition, but a 250-year-old ritual perpetuated by the descendants of a local murderer who was advised to offer sacrifice to the goddess to wash himself of sin.
Yet animal sacrifice is common in Hindu temples across Nepal, where Tantric Hinduism remains the mainstream religion rather than the devotional non-violent Hinduism that has evolved in India.
Animal rights activists are now lobbying the Nepal government to include a section on animal welfare in its new constitution to phase out the practice.
Nepalese devotees have hit back at criticism, insisting the world must respect their culture.
“It’s the centre of our faith that Ghadimai is known for sacrifice of animals,” Ghadimai temple head priest Mangal Chaudhary said. “It is our tradition so it will continue.”
David White, an expert on Tantric Hinduism and religious studies professor at the University of California, says “animal sacrifices in villages is the most perennial and ancient form of religion in South Asia” though human sacrifice or beheadings of corpses were “more to do with sorcery than Tantra”.
Tantric Hinduism, in which specialists engaged in sexual rituals and acts of violence to secure power or salvation, was the mainstream religion across the Indian subcontinent for a millennia until the 15th century when it was phased out in favour of the current non-violent religion.
But it continued in Nepal, and a revival of Tantra in parts of eastern India from the 16th century highlighted only the “most extreme elements of the religion, blood sacrifice of animals and sometimes even humans”, he said.
This week, 21 human skulls were found in a village in India’s eastern Orissa, alongside bones, flowers and vermilion powder, leading to suspicions the skulls were being used for Tantrik rituals. Last December five people were arrested for the beheading of a woman in Thane, near Mumbai, allegedly on the advice of a Tantrik priest.
Source: The Australian
Today marks the beginning of the Nepalese Gadhimai festival, where hundreds of thousands of animals are expected to be sacrificed in the name of the Hindu goddess.
The festival, which takes place every five years at the border town of Bariyarpur, sees men armed with traditional swords behead animals including goats, chickens, pigs and buffalo. The last festival, which took place in 2009, saw over a quarter of a million animals killed and CNN are reporting that this year the number of sacrifices are expected to double to 500,000.The festival is the world’s largest mass animal sacrifice, and the event has attracted widespread criticism. This year a campaign to ban the festival was launched with supporters including Brigitte Bardot and Joanna Lumley who petitioned Nepal's president to end the "cruel tradition".
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|Begins||28 November 2014|
|Frequency||every 5 years|
DescriptionPromoter Pandey Rajiv (Tokyo) Nepali and worldwide country visit the Gadhimai festival.About 5 million people participate in the festival, Madheshis and 70% of the devotess are the people from the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Attending the festival in Nepal circumvents the ban on animal sacrifice in their own states. Participants believe that animal sacrifices for the Hindu goddess Gadhimai will end evil and bring prosperity.
A month before the ritual in 2009, the Madheshi politicians realized there would be a "severe shortage" of goats for the ritual sacrifice, as well as for the consumption of goat meat during the festival. They began a radio campaign urging farmers to sell their animals.
The festival started in the first week of November 2009 and ended in the first week of December (up to makar sankranti), the fair has a custom of animal sacrifice that occurred on November 24 & 25 in the year 2009, with the temple's head priest performing ritual sacrifice called Saptabali which includes the sacrifice of white mice, pigeons, roosters, ducks, swine and male water buffaloes. More than 20,000 buffaloes were sacrificed on the first day. It is estimated that 500,000 animals were killed during the Gadhimai festival of 2009. The ritual killings were performed by more than 200 men in a concrete slaughterhouse near the temple. Three infant children of Indian pilgrims who had come to observe Gadhimai festival died due to the extreme cold. Six Indians died after drinking adulterated "hooch".
ControversiesThe festival has prompted numerous protests by animal rights activists and Nepalese Hindus from Hill region. In 2009 activists made several attempts to stop the ritual, including Brigitte Bardot and Maneka Gandhi, who wrote to the Nepalese government asking them to stop the killings. A government official commented that they would not "interfere in the centuries-old tradition of the Madheshi people." Ram Bahadur Bomjon, claimed by some of his supporters to be the reincarnation of the Buddha, said that he would attempt to stop the sacrifice at the festival, preaching non-violence and offering a blessing at the place. His promise prompted the government to send additional forces to prevent any incident.
After the festival, the meat, bones and hides of the animals are sold to companies in India.
Because the men who take on the role of killing the animals are largely unskilled in the ways of humane slaughter there is a concern that the animals are suffering needlessly, and dying slow and painful deaths.
ReactionsThe Indian Ministry of Home Affairs has directed the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to monitor and make sure no animals get to Nepal for the festival.
Actress Joanna Lumley of United Kingdom urged to stop the mass killings of animals in Gadhimai festival urging Madheshi leader and bordering Indians to stop this savagery. 
|Wikinews has related news: Ritual sacrifice in Nepal sees 320,000 animals slaughtered to Hindu goddess|
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