Disclaimer: This post in no way supports superstition and related practices but at the same time respects acts that come from human instincts of survival on this Planet.
The coverage in international and national media regarding naked girls being made to plough fields for rain left me nothing but offended. Not because those desperate farmers whose life and livelihood is at stake, took such dire step but because of the mindless criticism and insensitiveness shown by the so called elite, urban, educated gentry (the same people who says eggs comes from refrigerator). These skeptics who do not understand what faith is and what is superstition are everywhere copying the text of news article from Reuters and posting them in public sites and their public blogs. I was equally offended by the suggestion that anything bad happening in India, in Bihar is trait of Biharis. How easy it is to make a generalization. Isn’t it?
Science and meteorology has repetitively failed in predicting monsoon. Then, to whom should these farmers go? They called it height of superstition. If you call it superstition, it is not specialty of Bihar but a general attitude prevalent in all corners of the world in one form or other. The authenticity of news in Reuters is doubtful and it becomes hopeless when people copy it mindlessly in their blogs and public sites. Indian media need to shed their “follow west” attitude and be more sensitive to the ground realities. Even the tradition of dancing naked to bring rain is nowhere related to Bihar, it is something totally western. It is very easy to comment but come to Bihar and have a look on the countryside. Then only you will realize the ground realities.
I do not call it a superstition because when your survival is at stake the animal instinct inside you comes alive and you go to any step to save yourself. Do not generalize. The story on the other part maybe in contrast to what you believe. A section of a community with a strong will power and consistent faith resort to some age old practices in adverse circumstances and perform that in action. Until and unless you know the truth, human psychology and impulse behind these actions you cannot call then superstitions. The pressure of no food, no harvest is terrible for a family dependent solely on agriculture. Sitting in your cozy room watching TV and browsing net, you will never get to understand that. Across the world you will find many bizarre ways in which rural/tribal (and even the so called civilized, urban) people tries to connect with God in at different times.
Anyways you do not call it trivial, barbaric and uncivilized when high heeled models go bare on the ramps. We need not to be condemnatory just because it is being done by immaculate, innocent villagers whom you call ignorant and illiterate.
Be good humans (if you are human) and drop the perception that everything bad happens in Bihar. Pray for rain, good rain wherever required and in Bihar too.
PS: It rained fairly well last night and night before in various parts of Bihar (i.e. on 26th and 27th July 2009). (Yes …I am ready to go naked and dance in open if that is all it takes to persuade God for rain).