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Babies thrown off temple roof in ritual
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Maya Sharma
Friday, April 11, 2008 (Bagalkot, Karnataka)
In a bizarre and dangerous ritual in Karnataka, babies are thrown off the roof of a temple on a sheet, held by people below. The belief is that the whole exercise makes the children strong.

This strange ritual is held on special days at the Maruti temple in Jamkhandi taluk of Bagalkote district of north Karnataka.

The ritual is an old tradition and as with many other such customs, it is based on faith.

The Superintendent of Police of the district, Ramesh Hariharan, said that it was an old custom and that there was nothing illegal about it.

He said there was no offence being committed in the ritual and that there had been no untoward incident so far.

''If you do this, it is good for the child. They become healthy. It is to get the blessings of God. The babies are between 9 months and 11 months old or sometimes are of even less age,'' said Jayashree, a mother.

''This is an old tradition. Our elders used to do this and now we are continuing this and it will continue in future as well. The children will be healthy and we will get God's blessing if we throw them off the temple,'' said another mother.

''It is to give them courage, intelligence and strength. This is an old tradition. These people have been doing this and we will continue to do this,'' she added.

''People have fear and devotion for the God. People do this so that the child becomes courageous. This is what people want. They feel it would benefit them,'' said a health department worker.

With the crowds that gather at the temple for the ritual, one can see that it is very popular. As the fear of falling is a primal fear of humanity, it is just as well, perhaps, that these babies are much too young to know what is going on.
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# Superintendent of Police of the district, Ramesh Hariharan should be suspended immediately and punished soo for dereliction of duty - failure to prevent endangerment of mior children.
Posted by Santanu Pal at 17:33 on Apr 12, 2008
# This is the most ridiculous thing. When people are studying SIDS, it's hard to believe people throw their little ones from this high! Faith doesn't call for losing common sense.
Posted by Sunil at 5:34 on Apr 12, 2008
# When will people learn??? It is strange that such things are done even in 21st century,Instead of throwing babies,their parents should be thrown, even if one parent break a leg, skull or any other part of the body ,such blind rituals will atomatically stops.
Posted by Bhimsimha at 3:21 on Apr 12, 2008
# This kind of Tradition or practice should be stopped. It is madness. Religious heads like His Holiness Shankaracharya should denounce this tradition. Our Head of State ,PM and leader of opposition should come out and pass a law against this. Police should not say that there is nothing illegal about it. Media should also educate people rather than going for sensational news.
Posted by Anand at 2:19 on Apr 12, 2008
# Is endangering a child's life not an offence ? Its a shame on the part of the police of


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