Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Animal sacrifice in Sulia Yatra continues despite HC ban WEDNESDAY, 28 DECEMBER 2011 00:56 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 105 User Rating: / 0

Animal sacrifice in Sulia Yatra continues despite HC ban
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Defying prohibitory orders clamped by the district administration, ‘sacrifice’ of hundreds of animals on Tuesday morning at the Sulia festival at Saan Khala under Tusura police station, threw an open challenge to court orders and pained animal rights activists with its gory and hideous scenes on the spot.

Sulia Yatra is a traditional festival of the local tribals, held every year on the first Tuesday of the Hindu calendar month of Pausha.

Every year hundreds of animals, buffaloes, goats, hens and sheep are ‘sacrificed’ at the altar of Sulia Budha, the local tribe’s revered god. While the tribals held the view that they offered animals to the god after fulfillment of their individual wishes, the rationalists and the animal lovers opposed it as the worst kind of cruelty to animals and termed it as the most inhuman practice. Sulia Yatra is observed at two places, Khairaguda and Kummuria. Majority of animal ‘sacrifices’ earlier took place at Khairguda.

In 2006, the High Court directed the Balangir district administration to stop the hideous practice at the main yatra centre. And, accordingly, the administration took hard steps and the ‘sacrifices’ at Khairguda (the main centre) came to a halt.

But, strategically, the tribals only shifted their yatra site to Saan Khala and carried out their age-old tradition as usual, not affected by the court ban or the administration’s prohibitory orders. Following the imposition of prohibitory orders, they had created a new khala (sacrificing ground).

This year, the district administration had clamped prohibitory orders in three places — Bad Khala, Saan Khala, and Nuaan Khala.

According to reports, notwithstanding the prohibitory orders, the tribals continued their sacrificial rituals at the Saan Khala on Tuesday morning and created the new ground — Nuaan Khala, informed Paschim Odisha Adivasi Kalyan Sangha Secretary Niranjan Bisi.

Tribals have a distinct identity and their customs, rituals and worships are totally different. They are strongly opposed to the attempts to impose non-tribal culture and tradition upon them.

“Hundreds of animals are being killed in broad daylight everyday in the Balangir town and elsewhere. Is it not cruelty to animals? Bisi asked.

He further asked, “If we, the tribals, sacrifice animals to our gods once in a year at a secluded place inside the jungle, why should the non-tribals object to it?” The tribals would carry on their customs, rituals and practices including offering of animals to deities, he asserted.

No animal sacrifices took place at the main puja place. Asked to comment on killing of animals at the Saan Khala, where prohibitory order was clamped by the district administration, Balangir Sub-Collector Jyoti Ranjan Pradhan said he would look into it and action would be taken as per law.

“We demand action against the persons who violated the rule of law. The Sulia Sanskar Manch is also contemplating to file Contempt of Court against those officials responsible for the lapses,” said manch convener Santanu Naik, reacting to the killing of animals at the place where prohibitory order was clamped

1 comment:

  1. Govt. and social workers (Typical NGOs) working in these areas are no interested in making the people understand the same. Education has been a distant dream, modern health care for those forest dwellers is a un-reachable thing... So what has been done after 60 years of independence to make them educated in true sense ? Besides financial scams in their name.

    What the Sanskar Manch people have done till date, along with the administration ? Has any BDO/ Tehsildar/ Collector been to the villages from where these animals are brought for sacrifice? Have these Govt. officials tried to look under the table to find the reason ?

    With absence/ scarcity of medical facility and doctors demanding bribe, a family member of a poor sick can only pray the god and offer him available bribe, - a goat or a hen or any other domesticated animal.

    Financial troubles - Pray the god to help out instead of chaotic bank officials and agriculture officers... Its always better for them to offer an affordable bribe to the god than currency eating 2 leg gods.