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| Last Updated:: 31/07/2015

Chennai connect to Gadhimai festival





The ban of massive animal slaughter in Gadhimai festival of Nepal should be the beginning to end animal sacrifice all over the world, said director of city-based C P Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation, Nanditha Krishna, following the announcement of Nepalese temple authorities which changed the 100-year-old practice in the Himalayan kingdom.


It can be recalled that Nanditha was among the social activists who personally visited the festival last November and ensured avoiding animal trespass from the Indian border. 'Things have changed with India's move to restrict sending animals to Nepal, courtesy the effective measures of the government,' she mentioned.


The activist added that the Supreme Court of Nepal has taken a stand in putting a check to the practice. However, the move doesn't dilute the fact that animals are butchered on a largescale in many parts of interior Tamilnadu including Theni, Dindigul, etc..


The yearly Chithirai festival (happens in May) at Veerapandi village of Theni is thronged by the so-called 'ideal' devotees from not just Tamilnadu but also from neighbouring Karnataka and Kerala. Sacrificing hen and goats is the prime ritual and thousands of animals lose their lives during the 8-day festival.


M Parameswari, a resident of Chinnamanoor village of Theni, said the practice is believed to wipe away devotees' woes. 'It is mainly done by every Hindu from the district after their child reaches five years,' she added.


Having done multiple researches in Hindu sastras, Nanditha explained that the concept of religion is completely misinterpreted by the people who often fail to understand the importance of life. Elaborating, she continues, 'Gadhimai is a village festival in Nepal. Lack of education and proper awareness in the villages dominates the reasons behind the practice.'


According to her, the major places that represent Hinduism in Tamilnadu - Madurai, Kancheepuram and Rameswaram - do not embrace such uncivilised practices. 'Absorbed by many religions, animal sacrifice was happening 5,000 years ago. The religion has widely evolved and a person who knows Aagama sastras will never take someone's life,' she pointed out.


The experienced activist said the practice can be changed by educating the locals, especially temple priests. 'Parents should pass on the crux of the religion to their descendants so that misinterpretation is avoided,' she said, while adding that taking another life would never be a solution for any human problem.


Do you know?

The annual Yulin festival in China kills thousands of dogs and cats despite government promises to end the practice.


What's it?

Gadhimai festival, which happens every five years at Gadhimai temple of Bariyarpur, in Bara district of Nepal, is believed to be a 400-year-old practice (though Nanditha says it is only 100 years old). A majority of Indians from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh participate in Gadhimai which kills millions of animals. The day after, there is a 'Shama pooja', seeking forgiveness.