Some strange things happen in the name of religion and its offshoots, but a recent incident in Raipur took things one step further - pun intended.
A traditional fair in Chhattisgarh’s Dhamtari district saw a ritual where 200 married women who wanted to conceive lay on the ground as a group of priests walked on their backs, asking for blessings from a local Goddess.
The annual congregation, known as ‘Madhai Mela’. is held on the first Friday after Diwali, and was attended by thousands of devotees to offer their prayers to Goddess Angaarmoti.
Over 200 married women yearning to conceive lay on the ground and a group of priests walked on their backs beseeching the blessings from a local Goddess during ‘Madhai Mela’ in Chhattisgarh’s Dhamtari district. pic.twitter.com/dmO9iKkLHZ— The New Indian Express (@NewIndianXpress) November 22, 2020
The women, who want to be mothers, were seen lying on their stomachs as the tribal priests walked on their backs, chanting mantras and holding flags. Thousands of others looked on, flouting all Covid regulations.
R N Dhruv, secretary, Aadishakti Maa Angaarmoti Trust, said,
The Madhai Mela is believed to be taking place for the past 500 years. We are now carrying forward the tradition. People attend the ritual with the firm belief, which shouldn’t be misinterpreted. It’s miraculous to find several married women now blessed with children after they attended the fair in the past
People had quite a few things to say about the whole situation.
Don't just brush this as a religious problem, but recognise that in every community one's womanhood gets credibility and sanction based on their ability to bear a child, and more so a male child.— Urban Shrink (@UrbanShrink) November 22, 2020
Not a single man amongst them,not surprising. It's a bloody patriarchal world.
Uhm, that isn't how its done.— Crosspatch (@VictorB123) November 22, 2020
This Non sense can only happen in India— Afreen Ansari (@afreensk19) November 22, 2020
Absolutely ridiculous. Shame on those men walking over those innocent women.— Amar Reddy (@Buzzbeater) November 22, 2020
A very bizarre sight indeed, but not too surprising considering the things that happen here!