Friday, March 17, 2006
An act of Cruelty
Thiee or Poo Mithi (trampling fire) festival is very famous in South India. We all have seen people walk or the burning coals in Television, some movies or in live on some temple festivals. But have u heard of Animals walk on the burning coals? Yes that cruelty has held in “Namakkal” a district in Tamil Nadu.
Nearly 50 head of cattle, mostly oxen, were forced to walk on the glowing coals in the `Poo Mithithal' (trampling fire), an euphemism for the fire walk ritual, at the annual festival of the Sri Varadaraja Swamy temple at Urambu village in Namakkal on Tuesday. The cattle owners hauled these frightened animals by their reins on the smouldering coals, which were constantly stoked to retain the fiery heat to seek the blessings of the God. These animals were forced to walk on this rectangular pit raised on the ground near the temple, which was full of burning coals.
The very sad news is that a few animals had lost their balance and fell on the fire thus sustaining severe burns. A few sheep and goats also forced to walk on fire with their owners who guided them through the bed of coals. The `Poo mithithal' ritual is generally restricted to certain limits to human beings in other temples.
The ritual, devotees believed, was to ensure the God's blessings to the animals and their owners too. By walking on the fire, the cattle would be in the pink of their health, and also would help the farmers to carry out a good ploughing in their fields. A few others pulled their well-built bulls on the burning coals to ensure victory in all the forthcoming “jallikatu” (bull taming) festivals. I think these hope are eye closed superstition. We human beings could maintain a balancing act while walking on the fire to minimize the burns whereas the animals could not do. Really it is a act of cruelty to Animals.