Horror Show Friday: Tongues for Shiva

Speaking of the lunatic faithful doing stupid things to themselves in the name of their religion, we move to India, where an 11-year old girl cut out her own tongue in the Raigarh district of Chhattisgarh.  Why, you might ask?  Because she thought Lord Shiva wanted her to.

Chameli Sidar cut off her own tongue with a knife outside of a Shiva linga, a shrine to the Hindu god Shiva.  The girl passed out, but when onlookers wanted to take her to the hospital, the faithful stopped them, saying she would recover on her own with the blessings of god.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first incident of this kind, there have been others who have sacrificed their tongues to Shiva.  There was an incident in 2014 where Lalmohan Soren, 17, hacked out his own tongue with a blunt blade at the Mahedevgarha Temple, in Dugda, Jharkhand.  The boy’s mother, while not expecting his actions, wasn’t surprised.  She said, “My son has sacrificed his tongue to please the God so we’re sure the God will fulfil his wishes and give him a good life.”

Manoj Sharma, a local resident, said, “The tribal people are very superstitious and have always practiced weird rituals. In 2011 a boy severed two of his fingers and offered it to the God at the same temple.”

In 2010, Mukesh Kumar, a childless man from the village of Banthari traveled to the local Hindu temple where he also sliced out his tongue and offered it to Shiva, hoping that he would be granted a child.  Onlookers rushed him to the hospital where his tongue was reattached.

While these things sound bizarre to those of us in the west, these are very common among the ardent Hindus.  Self-mutilation to gain favor with the gods is just self-mutilation because the gods aren’t real. That’s a lesson that all Hindus ought to learn from Horror Show Friday.

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