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Religious "Baby Throwing" in India - Comments

debonnesnouvelles's Avatar Comment 1 by debonnesnouvelles

Babies are not cats.

Makes me want to punch all those adults in the video. Why doesn't anyone dangle the bloody priests over the balustrade by their hands and feet and then let them drop down onto a carpet held by a few volunteers? See how they like it?

Surely this free fall is dangerous to the delicate little necks and backs of those helpless toddlers. What horrendous child abuse!

Tue, 10 Apr 2012 10:42:16 UTC | #933592

Anonymous's Avatar Comment 2 by Anonymous

Comment Removed by Moderator

Tue, 10 Apr 2012 12:26:03 UTC | #933607

Agrajag's Avatar Comment 3 by Agrajag

How about throwing acid? I just saw this disgusting follow-up to a case over a decade ago: ACID then SUICIDE.
Steve

Tue, 10 Apr 2012 14:57:58 UTC | #933661

Aguazul's Avatar Comment 4 by Aguazul

Rational scientific people also do horrific things to children. Think of the mixed-race children being taken from their aboriginal mothers in Australia for example. Rational and justifiable (by the thinking of the time). The people doing it even thought they were being compassionate. Being non-religious and rational is no guarantee that you're going to avoid this problem.

Tue, 10 Apr 2012 16:58:13 UTC | #933699

debonnesnouvelles's Avatar Comment 5 by debonnesnouvelles

Comment 4 by Aguazul :

Rational scientific people also do horrific things to children. Think of the mixed-race children being taken from their aboriginal mothers in Australia for example. Rational and justifiable (by the thinking of the time). The people doing it even thought they were being compassionate. Being non-religious and rational is no guarantee that you're going to avoid this problem.

I do not think that people around here assume there are no wrongdoings in the world other than from religious sources. May I try to explain -

Whenever there are mistakes being made in a relatively free democratic society, other people noticing things going wrong can criticize the goings on. There can be an open debate and eventually the status quo can be improved.

What gets up everybody's nose around here is that lunacies committed with the excuse of "my religion tells me to do so" are beyond discussion. "God told me to commit murder. God told me to invade this country. God told me to run for president."

How can you argue with that? It is a rational no go and therefore worth getting very very upset about.

Tue, 10 Apr 2012 17:23:10 UTC | #933705

xmaseveeve's Avatar Comment 6 by xmaseveeve

Shocking and disgusting.

Tue, 10 Apr 2012 18:42:01 UTC | #933721

Sample's Avatar Comment 7 by Sample

Give faith an inch, and it takes nine meters.

Mike

Tue, 10 Apr 2012 19:02:26 UTC | #933724

HardNosedSkeptic's Avatar Comment 8 by HardNosedSkeptic

I completely agree that this disturbing practice needs to be ended straight away. There is no rational reason to believe that dropping a baby 9m from a balcony will “bring good luck, prosperity and health” in later life. I might be prepared to believe that it could give rise to an irrational fear of heights, but that’s about it.

Tue, 10 Apr 2012 20:16:27 UTC | #933740

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 9 by Premiseless

Comment 7 by Sample :

Give faith an inch, and it takes nine meters.

Mike

Faith is a walking lunatic asylum with a worldwide passport and zero criminal recognition.

Tue, 10 Apr 2012 20:41:20 UTC | #933744

xmaseveeve's Avatar Comment 10 by xmaseveeve

Comment 9, Premisless,

Faith is a walking lunatic asylum with a worldwide passport and zero criminal recognition.

It's religious immunity. I'd jail the lot of these child abusers.

Tue, 10 Apr 2012 20:57:01 UTC | #933746

jez999's Avatar Comment 11 by jez999

Comment 7 by Sample :

Give faith an inch, and it takes nine meters.

Mike

And converts to metric.

Tue, 10 Apr 2012 22:10:15 UTC | #933758

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 12 by Premiseless

Comment 10 by xmaseveeve :

Comment 9, Premisless,

Faith is a walking lunatic asylum with a worldwide passport and zero criminal recognition.

It's religious immunity. I'd jail the lot of these child abusers.

I'd go much further than that! Those in power who support religious agendas would be the first to be demoted into the lower ranks of society per se. I would enforce this situation period! Their position to empower mythological agendas would be perpetually targeted as against all law. I'd hold them to account for much of the dysfunction humans are wrestling within themselves over and thus the lions share of all psychological problems society is riddled with. Education about what constitutes a sustainable and equitable society would be the next revolutionary reform. I could go on and on.

You'd soon see I'd be likened to some totalitarian dictatorship. Such is the mess humanity is in that such a proposition begins to seem justified entirely. Religion has humanity poisoned to the core with mass deceptions along the lines of the criminal fraternities, but unconscious of this as if sanctioned by a god. Humanity is sandwiched well and truly betwixt delusional slices of religious insanity and being victimised by the naturally inclined slices of the criminal minded. Steering a fine course lies between both and it is this that almost requires of those who see it, a regime of power that defies most of of its founding principles for freethinking and equitability. A will to power and then to enforce this in freethinking ways. A contradiction is our mission.

The poison is replete. The bread is without a yeast of truth and we are reliant on the filling to do anything about this perpetual disaster. And too we rely also on those escaping the poison, who know of its disgust, and the darkened reputation this attempts to label upon them, as if there be no truth even then; no liberation, no humanity. Their "life drowned" education has the pains of what they inherited etched upon every sinew. Humanity has rigged up snares beyond anyones lifetime to postpone any truth seeker and reduce them to a slaves reward, and further deny them liberations from such snares due their trail out of it. Humanity is an absolute corruption. Each have become synonymous.

I see little integrity in the high ranks that claim this of themselves or that display it via their ill got affluence. They are even blinded by their own privilege. And most of the answers supply a repeat prescription.

Is an Einstein amongst us of value to those whose minds cannot see it, or an opportunity for further darkness to those who would exploit it? Education is forever polluted from the outset. This is the most fundamental of our problems and one guaranteed to keep elevating the criminal to power and reducing the truth seeker to crime.

Tue, 10 Apr 2012 22:45:14 UTC | #933770

xmaseveeve's Avatar Comment 13 by xmaseveeve

Nice rant and well said!

Does anyone else think that maybe Michael Jackson was confused, and almost threw 'Blanket'?

Tue, 10 Apr 2012 23:15:46 UTC | #933778

steveb0503's Avatar Comment 14 by steveb0503

Just playing Devil's advocate here - but, all things being equal, it doesn't really seem all that dangerous (although fraught with all kinds of potential for things to go horribly awry). What I really object to is the kind of superstitious thinking behind this and other even more terrible practices.

Tue, 10 Apr 2012 23:19:37 UTC | #933779

Katy Cordeth's Avatar Comment 15 by Katy Cordeth

The children don't appear to be in any distress until the cleric gives them a good old shake. I wonder if part of the ritual is that the bairns have to be wailing. Other than that, it seemed pretty harmless.

People in the West do far more idiotic things than that to their babies, and for non-traditional reasons, such as piercing their ears.

Next.

Tue, 10 Apr 2012 23:48:41 UTC | #933784

xmaseveeve's Avatar Comment 16 by xmaseveeve

Katy,

People in the West do far more idiotic things than that to their babies, and for non-traditional reasons, such as piercing their ears.

Next.

Rubbish.

From the OP,

The priest, who was cheered by the crowd every time he dropped a child, did not appear to be paying attention to where they fell. Perched on top of the elaborate Digambeshwara temple in Nagrala village, he pulled away one frightened child who tried to grab his shirt, and then hurled him down.

Reckless endangerment of a minor?

Opponents of the ritual have angered worshippers, who believe it is their religious duty to take such risks. A devotee at the Digambeshwara temple, who called himself Shankar, said: "Our religious beliefs pull many of us to this ceremony every year."

Yeah, I can think of another name for him.

"It's not simply the government's job. We need to educate all those who take part in this barbaric practice - the temple priest and the community."

This is not a well-written article, and the author does not state who said this, but.... Imagine if a judge or a politician said this about paedophiles. They should not be arrested, but educated. That includes any who choose to hand their children over to abusers for promised gain. Don't use the rule of law against murderers - educate them to murder no more!

This hideous ritual was banned last year and yet here they were, still doing it. Why were they not arrested and, at least the 'priests', charged? Only then should they back this up with an education campaign - about a parent's duty of care.

This ritual is the tip of the iceberg of crimes perpetrated against such children. This particular, casual cruelty must cause brain trauma in many cases, not to mention the effects on the mental health of older children watching this cheering barbarity.

No crime ceases to be a crime because it is not considered a sin, not even if is considered a religious requirement. Pierced ears my arse.

Wed, 11 Apr 2012 00:27:50 UTC | #933788

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 17 by Premiseless

Comment 14 by steveb0503 :

Just playing Devil's advocate here - but, all things being equal, it doesn't really seem all that dangerous (although fraught with all kinds of potential for things to go horribly awry). What I really object to is the kind of superstitious thinking behind this and other even more terrible practices.

It is an excellent metaphor for how children are repeatedly thrown into the blankets of others insane myth driven minds, genital surgery and infant marriage. What about this is not an exact copy of how crime intentionally exploits the young and vulnerable - but perpetrated as if due a holy god wish? Like I said, we are each born central to a sandwich it may take us most of our lives to understand we are better steering well clear of, by which time the poison almost always has you cornered due its media.

Wed, 11 Apr 2012 01:25:34 UTC | #933803

Katy Cordeth's Avatar Comment 18 by Katy Cordeth

@comment 16

Alright, in the first place, why do you assume the author of the article is unbiased?

The priest, who was cheered by the crowd every time he dropped a child, did not appear to be paying attention to where they fell. Perched on top of the elaborate Digambeshwara temple in Nagrala village, he pulled away one frightened child who tried to grab his shirt, and then hurled him down.

I didn't see any of this in the video, so why should I believe it happened? It was a short clip, granted, but the priest seemed to me to be rather carefully dropping (not throwing as stated in the title of the OP - there is a difference) the children from a fixed position between the turrets on the temple onto the blanket below. I imagine that if he were to miss and a fatality occurred, his life wouldn't be worth five Rupees.

It seems more ritualistic or traditional than religious to me. If it is religious, then which religion's tenets - Islam or Hinduism - is it based on?

This particular, casual cruelty must cause brain trauma in many cases.

Really? I would be interested to read the research that bears this out. This method of rescuing people, including babies and small children, from burning buildings has been around for thousands of years.

The evidence that infections can occur if an ear piercing is carried out in less than sanitary conditions, however, is well-documented. And what about the pain of the procedure?

If that isn't enough to convince you that we in the West do worse things that have nothing to do with religion or tradition, then how about the Pox Party phenomenon whereby the parents of a kid with chickenpox will get together with other parents in the neighbourhood and have all their children come round and be deliberately infected with the virus. That is messed up.

The religious don't have a monopoly on stupid, xmaseveeve, and I'm sorry to hear about your arse, but it's way past my bedtime now so night night.

Wed, 11 Apr 2012 01:28:01 UTC | #933804

QuestioningKat's Avatar Comment 19 by QuestioningKat

Comment 4 by Aguazul :

Rational scientific people also do horrific things to children. Think of the mixed-race children being taken from their aboriginal mothers in Australia for example. Rational and justifiable (by the thinking of the time). The people doing it even thought they were being compassionate. Being non-religious and rational is no guarantee that you're going to avoid this problem.

You probably need to rethink your concept of rational. What you mention has nothing to do with rationality or science. Humanity is flawed, but by questioning and rethinking our standards, beliefs, and practices, we improve. Knowledge is built upon over time. We learn a little and expand our potential for for understanding more knowledge. We dig in deeper and expand what we know and have better solutions. Our morals are not God-given, but over time our understanding of humanity, psychology, and a sense of fairness allows us to become more compassionate.

Tossing babies out the window has been proven to be dangerous physically and psychologically, thus the practice should stop.

Wed, 11 Apr 2012 01:46:56 UTC | #933810

Sample's Avatar Comment 20 by Sample

Base Jumping For Brahma, I mean baby throwing, was talked about in 2008.

http://richarddawkins.net/videos/2524-truly-bizarre-indians-throw-babies-50ft-from-roof-to-thank-god

Instead of pierced ears being the Western corollary, it was circumcision back then.

Carry on.

Mike

Wed, 11 Apr 2012 02:49:56 UTC | #933818

PY's Avatar Comment 21 by PY

What an absurd, disgusting event. This is nothing more than evidence of religion making rational people do irrational things. But wait, how could they claim to be rational to even argue for their position? To believe that dropping babies has any effect on the future, let alone advantages to the child, is not a rational position. Reason is absent, so the question is why? It must be about the lack of education or knowledge. Is it simply easier to believe in ritual or magic rather than to think or question why, or 'is that true'? Does this not simply prove that education, knowledge, reason and science are the most important values a society can strive for?

Wed, 11 Apr 2012 03:56:32 UTC | #933822

RDfan's Avatar Comment 22 by RDfan

My jaw dropped when I saw that man let go of that poor baby. Clearly, babies are very resilient, and just as well.

Among the millions of dumb things humans do, this ranks right up there with the dumbest of them.

Wed, 11 Apr 2012 05:54:50 UTC | #933830

mmurray's Avatar Comment 23 by mmurray

Maybe they only drop girl babies. They are usually regarded as expendable

http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2012/01/16/it’s-a-girl-the-three-deadliest-words-in-the-world/

Michael

Wed, 11 Apr 2012 06:34:29 UTC | #933832

mmurray's Avatar Comment 24 by mmurray

Comment 20 by Sample :

Base Jumping For Brahma, I mean baby throwing, was talked about in 2008.

http://richarddawkins.net/videos/2524-truly-bizarre-indians-throw-babies-50ft-from-roof-to-thank-god

Instead of pierced ears being the Western corollary, it was circumcision back then.

Carry on.

Mike

Thanks. Some interesting discussion back then of what the possible damage might be.

Michael

Wed, 11 Apr 2012 09:44:17 UTC | #933848

Zeuglodon's Avatar Comment 25 by Zeuglodon

Comment 18 by katy Cordeth

It was a short clip, granted, but the priest seemed to me to be rather carefully dropping (not throwing as stated in the title of the OP - there is a difference) the children from a fixed position between the turrets on the temple onto the blanket below.

Yeah, I noticed that as well. He gave them a good shake before doing so. My heart nearly went into my mouth when he let go. And of course, the close-up of the weeping child at the end. Seriously, tradition and ritual is no excuse for scaring baby after baby. There are serious risks of a child landing awkwardly on the blanket, and being dropped from such a great height is unlikely to be pleasant. The whole business could be dispensed with and nobody would miss out.

I don't hold any truck with arguments from tradition.

Wed, 11 Apr 2012 11:25:47 UTC | #933856

CJHefford's Avatar Comment 26 by CJHefford

Stunned... How can anybody, religious or otherwise, be so stupid? I'm pretty open minded but this is just irresponsible and unforgivable.

Wed, 11 Apr 2012 11:35:10 UTC | #933858

Vorlund's Avatar Comment 27 by Vorlund

A quick calculation indicates the child is going to hit the blanket at over 20m/s.

Wed, 11 Apr 2012 11:51:18 UTC | #933863

green and dying's Avatar Comment 28 by green and dying

Comment 15 by katy Cordeth :

The children don't appear to be in any distress until the cleric gives them a good old shake. I wonder if part of the ritual is that the bairns have to be wailing. Other than that, it seemed pretty harmless.

People in the West do far more idiotic things than that to their babies, and for non-traditional reasons, such as piercing their ears.

Next.

I agree that piercing babies' ears is at least as bad as this but the fact that other people in vaguely the same culture as us do awful things doesn't mean we can't criticise anyone else. If the OP had said "this is why India is a terrible country" then bringing up things that Westerners do wrong would be relevant but no one's said anything like that. It's just being used as as example of wrong things people do to children for silly reasons. I don't get this need to say "we're just as bad" all the time where it's not relevant to the conversation.

Wed, 11 Apr 2012 15:27:45 UTC | #933900

The Jersey Devil's Avatar Comment 29 by The Jersey Devil

This particular, casual cruelty must cause brain trauma in many cases.

Really? I would be interested to read the research that bears this out. This method of rescuing people, including babies and small children, from burning buildings has been around for thousands of years.

Here is the best research I could find on short notice.

While the linked organization doesn't exactly apply to the 'baby dropping' meme it does give enough real information to conclude the risk of the practice does not justify the benefit. Especially considering that there is no known benefit to dropping babies. Unless you are in a burning building. Which they are not.

Wed, 11 Apr 2012 15:33:53 UTC | #933903

Zeuglodon's Avatar Comment 30 by Zeuglodon

Comment 28 by green and dying

Well said. There should be no distracting from the fact that this is an unjustifiable practice. I don't think babies should have their ears pierced, either, come to that.

Comment 27 by Vorlund

A quick calculation indicates the child is going to hit the blanket at over 20m/s.

Call me lazy and ignorant, but where'd that number come from? I need to see your working.

Wed, 11 Apr 2012 16:22:03 UTC | #933912