I suppose we should consider ourselves lucky in the US to merely have anti-Vaxers and Snake Handlers:

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I hate stories like this because they fuel racism and make it hard to do good public anthropology. Before you read the following, do remember that even though the police were involved and paper work was filled out, it really, really, may not be true at all. I’ve seen accusations like this occur which were not based on reality, and I’ve seen them reported in newspapers.

On the other hand, things like this do happen now and then, and you might be surprised to know that they happen in the US as well as other places. OK, enough caveats:

According to Narayan Das, police chief of Bijapur district, in a telephone conversation with AFP: “A seven-year-old girl was sacrificed by two persons superstitiously believing that the act would give a better harvest.”

Police arrested two men in connection with the murder of Lalita Tati after her body was found in October. Her family had reported her missing. According to the police, the men confessed to the crime.

AFP reports that the jungle district of Chhattisgarh is a rebel Maoist stronghold where human sacrifice is still practiced. The sacrifices are believed to appease the gods, spirits and deities.

The report goes on to describe other alleged cases.

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5 thoughts on “I suppose we should consider ourselves lucky in the US to merely have anti-Vaxers and Snake Handlers:

  1. do remember that even though the police were involved and paper work was filled out, it really, really, may not be true at all

    Or that the basic facts are true (the murder of a 7-year-old girl) but not the rationale behind them. I’m thinking of case in Peru in the 1980s about alleged human sacrifices in some Andean communities, where in fact people where being murdered and their bodies mutilated by local drug cartels as a deterrent against challenging their rule. (Sadly, I can’t recall exactly when and where, and don’t have the book with the references at hand.)

    In that light, I’m wondering about these strange Maoist who practice human sacrifice… Terror tactics, maybe.

  2. That is shocking. I had no idea there were violent Maoist rebels in India. I’m not sure what that’s doing in an article about tribal superstition and human sacrifice, though. It’s almost as though some journalist were trying to forge a connection between the two diametrically opposed ideologies.

    (Sometimes, the enemy of my enemy is still, you know, my enemy.)

  3. I think they are mentioning the Maoists in Chhattisgarh because it goes to the lack of infrastructure in this region. It’s very poor, but the agencies can’t get in because the Maoists control things, and they’re not as interested in providing education and health care. It’s not an area where the local or national government has much control, for better or worse, people there are left mostly to their own devices. Indian has the resources to assist farmers when the harvests are poor, but they can’t get them into places like this.

  4. Actually it isn’t just that. It’s that there are lot of people in rural India.

    There are 750 Million indians who live rurally. Roughly 400 million people live in the cities though and that’s the India that is progressing. The problem is that these 750 million are essentially living in a black hole of law.

    Bear in mind that this is the largest vote block and you can make any godddamn promise to them and get their vote even if the driving force of India is the cities. So it’s easier to just create these black holes of laws.

    Put it this way… There were 30 deaths over the new year from badly made moonshine. There were 35 deaths when a bus rammed another bus filled with children. There were naxalite deaths and indeed this issue were simply swept under the rug by Indian media in an attempt to accuse the british government of covering up racism (An Indian got shot by a man who actually gave his name as “Psycho”.) Indian journalism lives in the fabulous and loves the kind of gruesome murder which portrays other people in a bad light. Indians really do not like reporting on their own problems. While “human sacrifice” would be insane news on our news channels because of the sheer “WTF factor”.

    The actual problem? India’s rural population is too large. It’s the group of people who live in often medieval conditions and like medieval conditions one can easily take advantage of their ignorance.

    The maoists don’t practice human sacrifice. They do however damage government infrastructure making it difficult to administer areas which causes “shit like this” to fly under the radar.

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