Published on July 26th, 2018
India is a country where superstitions and blind faith is still ruling all over the country. It is one of the most diverse countries that have people belonging to different religions and following different traditions.
India is often called Incredible India due to its famous snake charmers, peacocks and elephants, and also the contribution by Aryabhatta. The country is full of life and has almost everything to offer to all kinds of souls.
It’s diversity and rich cultures set it apart from the rest of the countries in the world. A visit to India could be a totally magical experience and you will definitely collect a lot of memories as the pomp and excitement of festivals in India are truly worth capturing.
Indian weddings are very interesting as there are a number of rituals which are fun to perform, one such ritual is the Juta Churai where the bride’s side steals the shoes of the groom and only returns it in exchange for some good amount of money. This is just one of the many enjoyable rituals and customs.
But that is not it, in contrary to the pomp and colourful ritual there are also some shocking and harmful practices that are performed in India.
Ten Most Shocking Rituals In India:
Talking about the fun and frolic of Indian Weddings, you would be shocked to know the cruelty that exists on the other side. The Dowry system is one where the groom’s side demands materialistic things such as cash, car, property or any other form of jewellery etc, in exchange for considering the wedding to happen.
Initially, in India during any wedding, the bride would be showered with a lot of gifts from her family before she starts her new life at her husband’s house. This tradition was further taken advantage of in the form of the Dowry system.
The system is not only an insult to the bride as her life in future is being measured in terms of money or other valuable items, but also it is a very big burden on the entire family of the bride.
The pressure not only leads to financial pressure but also in extreme cases it leads to the bride or her family committing suicide in case of failure to meet the Dowry demands. With the fear of living an unmarried life, many Indian brides often commit suicide.
2. Baby Dropping – Tossing Infants From The Roof For Good Luck
This absolutely ridiculous practice is a reality that is extremely difficult to believe and digest. Mainly performed by Muslims, the practice of baby dropping is one of the most horrifying and shocking rituals in India. However, it is performed by the Hindus too.
Prevailing since the past 700 years at places like the Baba Umer Dargah, Maharashtra and Sri Santeswar temple near Indi, Karnataka, the practice of baby dropping is a concept where infants of two years or even less is dropped from a tower of about 50 feet in height, with crowds standing down to catch the baby, it is shocking that people believe that such a practice can bring good luck to the baby being dropped down.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights is looking forward to putting an end to this potentially dangerous ritual.
3. Arranged Marriage
Since the 18th Century the practice of arranged marriage has been dropped all over the world, but somehow India still believes that a third party can decide better who should marry whom.
The people who are actually getting married are given no right to choose their own partner, and the idea if Love marriage is considered to be extremely absurd.
It is difficult to believe that in India compatibility and connection stands with absolutely no relevance when two people are getting married, instead, factors such as caste, race, religion and matching of the “Kundli” is much more important.
Who cares if they don’t find a match in each other or you’ve never even spoken to each other before, you are just simply expected to live the rest of your life with a complete stranger!
4. Child Marriage
The legal marriageable age of a woman is 18, and that of a man is 21 in India. Though much lesser than before, Child marriage is a practice that is unfortunately still existing in India especially in the case of poor socio-economic groups in India.
You will be shocked to learn that in some parts of the country the girls who are below the age of 18 years are sometimes even forced to marry men who are much older than them especially in cases where they may have been a divorcee or a widower.
Even after the outlaw of Child marriage in 1929, there have been reported cases of child marriage in India. It is an active political issue in the country. The outlaw has mostly been opposed by the Muslim families who believe that there is nothing wrong with child marriage.
Not only is Child marriage a difficult practice for underage girls but also is a burden to the boys who are forced to marry before they reach the age of maturity.
5. Female Foeticide/Infanticide
Due to the Dowry system, the Indian family faces a lot of pressure when it’s time to get their girl married. It is unbelievable that due to the dowry system girls are often treated as a burden.
This is the cause that leads to female foeticide, which means a baby girl is killed even before she is born or right after she is born. It is a brutal truth that only the birth of a baby boy is celebrated while on the other hand if a baby girl is born everyone feels dissatisfied and unhappy.
The birth of a baby girl is considered to be a shame for the family and hence it leads to the idea of female foeticide. This practice is also prevalent amongst educated families who abort the girl child.
It is due to such practices that now it is illegal for the doctors to reveal the gender of the baby before it is born.
6. Honour Killing
Honour killing is one of the most in-humane rituals practised in India. In India, Marriage is not about two people falling in love and choosing to spend the rest of their lives together but instead is an agreement between two families.
In India, the concept of falling in love is considered to be an absurd act and marriage happens with factors such as the same caste, religion, and financial status being kept in mind.
In cases, where the bride and the groom elope, later they are hunted down by their families and brutally murdered in the name of honour killing.
It is utterly shameful that people have placed honour above humanity itself. It is not only prevalent in the case of marriage but some families are also very strict about rules such as what to wear, where to go, whom to visit and other such obnoxious rules that if not followed would lead to the killing of the ones who have breached such family rules, and this murder is given the name of honour killing.
7. Cannibalism, Necromancy And Other Practices Of Aghori
Amongst the Hindu sector, belongs a sinister group of Aghori Saints who are from Varanasi, and are the worshipper of Lord Shiva. They are also popular for their post-mortem rituals.
They indulge in frightening practices such as smearing the dead bodies in cremation grounds and using their bones to make jewellery or cups made from the skull of the bodies.
These saints are of a cannibalistic nature and they also feed on the meat of the dead bodies. In addition to this, there is also a superstition that these Aghori saints are capable of performing black magic.
8. Self-Flagellation – The Mourning Of Muharram
Self-flagellation is an act that is practiced not just in India but also Pakistan and Bangladesh and is an act where people whip themselves using chains that are called Matams and often has sharp attachments such as razors as a part of a ritual that is performed during Muharram which in the Islamic Calendar is the first month and is the anniversary of the Battle of Karbala.
They mercilessly whip themselves until they are soaked in blood, but claim to feel no pain in a trance. This practice is performed as a dedication and a mourning of the death of Hussein Ibn Ali.
9. Kesh Lochan – Plucking Hair Out By The Hand
A very popular ritual in India is to sacrifice one’s hair and offer it to God. People somehow believe that it is a good idea to offer one’s hair as a gift or offering to God in order to please him.
It is believed that if you wake God up with shed locks of hair he will be pleased and shower his blessings on those who have sacrificed their hair. So, it is a wide-spread practice to offer locks to God.
Some people even go to the extent of going completely bald and offering all their hair to God. This act of going bald is done by plucking the hair directly from the scalp and is either done by themselves or by someone else.
This act is performed once or twice in a year and they feel immense pain when each hair is plucked out of the scalp but is considered to teach a lesson of endurance and resistance to pain.
10. Exorcism By Marriage – Human-Animal Weddings
Indian is a country that is not only diverse in case of religion and culture but also has various different kinds of superstitions and blind faith. Some even believe in the presence of spirits and evil power. In India Horoscope plays a very important role, especially during the time of marriage the “Kundli” of both the male and female is matched.
In cases where their “guns” (stars) don’t match, their wedding is considered to be a portent. According, to the birth timings, some women are called “Manglik” which means they have “mangal dosh”: such a woman is said to endanger the life of her husband.
To nullify this dosh from her, the shocking ritual of getting the woman married to a tree is performed in India. Another way to exorcise a Manglik woman is to get her married to an animal mostly a cow instead of a tree.
This obtuse ritual is also used to get the women rid of spirits which she is believed to possess, if she is born with a deformity, cleft lip, tooth, etc.
These rituals are not only of a disturbing nature but also needs to be stopped as soon as possible. These are just the top 10 practices; however, the list does not end here.
There are still many other such shocking practices that are continuing in some parts of India. Such issues require immediate attention and must not only be banned by law but also it should be socially-boycotted.