Solapur (Maharashtra): Religious traditions are diverse and sometimes as bizarre as they can get. A village in Solapur, Maharashtra, has a dangerous tradition of throwing newborns from a height of 50 feet onto a sheet, which is held by devotees.
The infants are thrown off the roof of the Baba Sheikh Umar Saheb Dargah in Musti village in Solapur. This is an age-old tradition practiced by couples who are blessed with a child after taking a vow at the dargah. The devotees also believe that this ritual is good for the health of the child.
“People have been following this tradition for almost 500 years now. They believe that if they throw the child from the roof then it does good to him or her,” deputy sarpanch of Musti village, Ravikiran Mehta said.
While the practice may seem dangerous and superstitious to others, the devotees strongly believe that the fall will not harm the infants. The reason given is that there has been no recorded evidence of any physical disability to the infants.
“It’s our family tradition and so we follow it,” a devotee said.
While this practice may not have resulted in any casualties as of now, rationalists say that such dangerous rituals should be banned by the state government.
“Such bizarre rituals should be banned and the state government should intervene. Such practices are a challenge to our sensibilities and the basic concept of common well-being,” President of Rationalist International Sanal Edamaruku said.
Both Muslim and Hindu families take part in this ritual, however the state administration chooses not to interfere and provides heavy police security during the ritual every year.