View Full Version : Indirectly Demeaning Article

12 January 2012, 02:26 AM
This is not usually like me, but after reading this,


I cannot help but express my displeasure at the offhandedly smug and dismissive tone suffusing this article... obviously the author thought there was nothing amiss concerning the language used, and neither did whoever approved it for release.

Of course human sacrifice is repugnant, and I am very sad for the poor girl's family - but the implication of "My, but they certainly are quite backward, primitive savages, aren't they?" is frankly offensive, and quite telling.

What would be the reaction to an article talking about "deeply religious, superstitious Americans" in reference to a child's death be, I wonder.

How many hearts grow ever more heavy and dull from the repetition of the message underlying the language of this story?

Should I not be offended?

May Maa help us all to slay the demons of ignorance and arrogance; enemies that call every country and culture their home!


12 January 2012, 03:05 AM
There is not point being offended based on real facts. The article also carefully avoids "hindu" reference and calls it tribal superstition. Most hindutva activities will feel a sigh of relief at this separation of tribalism from hinduism with relation to such incidents. But at all other times, we would hate to admit a separate existence of any tribal religion.

Anyway, fact is a fact. It is also clear this is a rare incident, it happens now and then, but generally done by derainged superstitious people. Similar stuff happens everywhere in the world, only the superstition may be in a different form.

But also makes a point how hindus need to fight against superstition. Human sacrifice is attested in both vedic and tantric scriptures, so we need to take a proper stand on why we are against them instead of wriggling around.

12 January 2012, 04:06 AM
Namaste JaiMaaDurga,

A grim subject indeed!

This article leads my mind to think of the underground black market in which the poor and under privileged are "harvested" for the rich. For transplant organs...

To my mind this is very similar behaviour; Human nature is never to far from its dark side, tools such as money allow us to defer the act far from sight. That which I call "Deferred cannibalism" is somewhat rife in the West today; mAyA allows for this to go unseen; we would surly go mad were it that we knew all of that which we are capable.



12 January 2012, 06:23 AM
Namaste sm78, Mana-

In light of sm78's reply, as well as attempting to approach it more dispassionately, I do see that a fact is indeed a fact, and it was said to be rare and a tribal, rather than hindu, practice; it was the

...in deeply religious and superstitious India

that provoked a strong response for me, in combination with the subject matter.

I also agree that superstitious activity and religious activity are two entirely different things, and fighting superstition is a most worthy battle; there will certainly be no "wriggling around" from me... it is the height of folly for one to treat scripture as one might a history of legal precedent, or a recipe-book.

To consider the Divine as some sort of Cosmic Bureaucracy, which has loophole and bribe potential, or as the "Great Vending Machine" which simply requires the correct currency in the correct amount to dispense boons, is primitive, and in the mode of ignorance.

Mana is also correct in noting the individual and society-wide seeming necessity for rose-colored glasses, when in front of a mirror for overlong...

Yet I must mention this; an certain impression of dogwhistle politics is still there- perhaps it is just a cynical exploitation of a lurid story, knowingly aimed at precisely those people who give a thumbs-up (166) to comments like, "And this is a nation with a atomic bomb." I perhaps am oversensitive; but the scent of a Colonial mindset is a hard one to forget.

12 January 2012, 06:39 AM
...in deeply religious and superstitious India

that provoked a strong response for me, in combination with the subject matter.

It is our duty to get rid of this label. But will protesting on this example help or reinforce the label or perception? I think getting offended in this particular example and similar instances, will reinforce and for right reasons, India's reputation for religious superstition - which is only partially true.

12 January 2012, 07:27 AM
Fighting superstition can be a double edge sword. The reform movements also fought superstition, but to such an extent that they tried to discard the whole of Hinduism minus some agnihotra and japa. What drives people to perform such an act is not superstition, but the lack of a sense of morality and compassion. In one instance, even a mother sacrificed her own child in order to gain a happier relationship with her husband. If it wasn't for some reference of human sacrifice in scriptures, surely such people would find other ways to hurt and exploit people for their personal gain. Sambya mentioned that the tantras also talk about raping crocodiles, I do not hear of anyone raping crocodiles though. I do believe that human sacrifice has been a small part of Hinduism with even vedic sanction, when performed expertly any form of sacrifice can bring results, but this is one of those things that are kali varjit or forbidden in kali yuga. The point is, that one has to have psychopathic tendencies to go around and look for victims for such an act, simple superstition is not the whole story.

...in deeply religious and superstitious India, this single sentence from the report shows severe contempt for Hinduism. It is not just the unfortunate events that have happened in India, like forced widow burning when when people think of "superstitious India." Aside from such rare or historic events, everything from putting a tika on a newly bought car to touching the feet of respectable elders are simple everyday examples of what people really mean with "supestitious India". It is definitely offensive use of language.

14 January 2012, 02:48 PM
But also makes a point how hindus need to fight against superstition. Human sacrifice is attested in both vedic and tantric scriptures, so we need to take a proper stand on why we are against them instead of wriggling around.


Are you referring to the Vedic Purushamedha Yajna?
According to Shatapatha Brahmana 13:6:2:13, the ritual is purely symbolic and the victims are supposed to be released unharmed after it is done.

Flowing Along
15 January 2012, 06:18 AM
" Superstitions " are everywhere. In SD , we need to see whether a belief is dharmically sanctioned [ Sruti based] or simply a social malady.

The latter can be dealt with using legislation and then the former cannot be blamed for it at all.That's what media does in the case of SD .

Our wise sages never said " No amendment! No questions!"

I recently read that the German Govt is being asked to clear the names of innocent women they burnt as witches just three centuries ago. Now that is an example of religious institution- sanctioned atrocity.Would they clear the matter for people and apologise for the 300 year old atrocities? I doubt.

SD's are the only people who can look at their society in an open minded way to rid it of its evils.
We'd do more but for our leaders who need a divided society for thier own survival.
When a Sachin Tendulkatr visits a Subramanya temple in Kartanaka a Shoba De writes a column about superstition...if he had gone to some other religious center then..?He would be deeply religious man who attributes his success to God.;)
The double talk is plainly visible in popular media.

Flowing Along
15 January 2012, 06:31 AM
There is another thing-tribals in India are Hindus too-some of them may follow less than satvic worship but they are SD's just like us-It seems following the fake Aryan race theory there were a lot of efforts to show them as different from other Hindus.This kind of efforts have been around for long-and we should not fall in to that trap.
Black magic or misused tantric practice are used by people in urban centers too-we use fire to cook ,some use it to burn others.
Why Sri Krishna in BD mentions about Tamasic worshippers who take up painful practices.Some inflict that pain on others ,it is not any kind of worship sanctioned by SD.
Sabari And Guha of Ramayana and Kannappa Nayanar in recent times [ 2 millenia ago?!] , were what one can call tribals.
Some information about a missionary who lived with tribals and then became a Hindu himself.

16 January 2012, 10:30 AM
Admin Note

some of the posts of this thread have been moved to a more appropriate thread at http://hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=8841

Flowing Along
17 January 2012, 07:50 AM
Namaste Satay
I appreciate the moving of some posts-correct place and appropriate title for the thread as well.