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Villagers Parading Bones and Corpses on Bengali New Year

Major newspapers around the world reported about a horrific ritual of parading bones and corpses in a village in West Bengal. According to Reuters, the ritual is called the ‘Naramundo Khela’ (Skull Game) and only takes place in Sona Palasi Village, which is around 165 km west of Kolkata. The ritual is dedicated to Lord Shiva and marks the beginning of Bengali New Year.

As part of the festival, some villagers carrying skulls and daggers danced to rhythmic drum beats with their bodies covered with white ash and spotted with red and green paints as around 2,000 other people watched.

Police have confirmed about the ritual taking place and they are investigating the case. Environmental and social activists have come out against this horrific ritual.

The report first appeared in Reuters and was later published in newspapers around the world. Till now, none of the Indian newspapers have reported about the ritual. (No idea whether it is being reported in the regional newspapers). It seems the village is Sonapalasi near Bardhaman and the region is noted for Tantric rituals.

Incidentally, Sonapalasi village was in the news a couple of years when a boy who died of snake bite was set afloat down the Damodar River returned back after several years with his wife and kids. (link)

A Reuters photographer was able to take pictures and report about the ritual and the police in the region only came to know about it from the report. Mainstream Indian media never knew about the event. And all this is happening in an Indian state which is being ruled by Communists for more than 25 years.

It is sad that even after 60 years of independence such rituals take place in India. Media around the world use such rituals to malign India and Hinduism. NGOs and Hindu organizations should concentrate more on spreading primary education in rural India – the only solution to stop such horrific rituals.