Wednesday 29 July 2015

Gadhimai Festival

Why in news?

  • Breaking from a tradition of centuries, the trust of the Gadhimai temple in Nepal, notorious for the wanton sacrifice of thousands of animals on the premises every five years, has announced an end to all future killings. Pujaris at the temple will now “sacrifice” coconuts, pumpkins and sundry other offerings instead
    • With the Supreme Court of India’s intervention to prohibit the movement of animals from India to Nepal, AWNN and HSI/India saw a reduction of up to 70 percent in the number of animals sacrificed from 2009.
  •  The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), paramilitary force deployed along Indo-Nepal border, got a 'leadership in animal welfare award' for its pro-active measures to prevent thousands of animals from going to Nepal for the Gadhimai festival which is known for animal (buffaloes, goats and cows) sacrifice in huge number as part of a religious ritual. 

About the festival:

  • Gadhimai is a sacrificial ceremony held every five years at the temple in Bariyarpur, some distance from Kathmandu. 
  • A large number of Indians, especially from Bihar, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh, travel to Nepal for the festival during which buffaloes, goats, pigs, rats and chicken are sacrificed to please the presiding deity of the temple, Kali, a practice that is said to date back 250 years. 
  • The last Gadhimai festival happened in November 2014, and an estimated 35,000 animals were sacrificed.
  • An estimated 70% of the total nearly 400,000 animals sacrificed there are illegally brought from bordering Indian states of Bihar, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and even from some parts of Jharkhand and Assam.
  • Board of the Gadhimai temple even gives contract to sell animal blood and bones to China and the money earned by it goes into politics as it goes to the Communist Party in Nepal which is in the Board of the temple

[Ref:ToI, IE, The Hindu]


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