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TALLEAKH: WHERE PEOPLE ARE FORCED TO BATH WITH HOT OIL AS A SUPERSTITIOUS BELIEF

She was bathed in hot oil which resulted to her death.

Talleakh, that’s the name of my village. It is located in Gamghodi, Mugu. A village where lack of education has resulted in a number of superstition. Some so extreme that it has cost the death of numerous people.

It all started with a superstition. In my village, there is this river which generates five small electricity projects. People say that the river is cursed with some spirits, so people rarely go near the river.

A temple named Tharpanastha is situated not so far from the river, which is opened once a year during Dashain festival. On this day, people carry the things required for worshipping along with the cooking utensils all the way to the temple. They then group up with the witch doctors who chant the mantras and performs the ritual dance. As they dance, it is believed that the god resides in them. At a certain point, he picks out one of the villagers who is then considered as a witch. A witch, an embodiment of evil, to whom the villagers isolate and then bathe them with the hot oil.

In this cruel act, there are people who rebel against the norm, the tradition, but the villagers are so blinded with the witch doctors and their beliefs that they think their act is what the god wants. Without the consent of the person, they just pour the hot oil and leave them there to die.

That would a tradition, but here I have got a story to share, that you might have heard in tales, but this isn’t a tale, but a real story.

There was this woman who lived on the top of the hill by herself. The villagers believed that when children passed by her house they’d fall sick and hence the children were not allowed to go there. Despite the restriction, the kids would often go there and play around. Nothing would happen, they’d be playful and full of energy. But one day, a number of children in the village got sick. Not so surprisingly they were taken to the witch doctors. The witch doctor then blamed the woman for the sickness of the kids. The villagers, blindly believing witch doctor’s words, then marched to her house with rage and poured her the hot oil. She was bathed in hot oil which burned her body and eventually resulted in her painful death.

Kanti Yadav a is scorned and ridiculed by a group of people led by dhamis during a pilgrimage to Kamala River for the “Ghost Festival” for the supposed clearing of evil spirits. Kanti is accused of the fainting of a woman and force Kanti to bring her back to normal. (GlocalKhabar)

A death caused by a superstition, a belief that leads to end the life of a person in a miserable way. The sad part is that this is a story of just one woman, every year someone has to go through this painful, miserable and soul-wrenching act. Even though there are people who are against these blindly followed inhumane acts, the villagers and their beliefs fails them to upraise and forces such deaths. These acts really impact the society, the people of the village; especially the kids, who witness such acts at such a young age making them mentally disturbed.

No one deserves to suffer through such an inhumane act. The only reason I’m sharing this story is to reach out to social organizations and government with an appeal to help us in eradicating these kinds of beliefs from different remote places in our country.

-Seema Bhandari

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Written by Dorjee Khando

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