SM Journal of Pharmacology and Therapeutics

Editorial

Ritual Killing and Human Sacrifice: Human Sacrifice Today

Ashok Pandey*

Editorial

Human sacrifice has been practiced on a number of occasions and in many cultures. The various rationales behind human sacrifice are the same that motivate religious sacrifice in general. Human sacrifice is intended to bring good fortune and to pacify the gods, such as in the context of the dedication of a completed building like a temple or bridge. Human sacrifice can also plan of winning the gods’ favour in warfare.

When I reviewed the most chilling stories of modern-day, human sacrifices hurt. Literatures show that chanting and sacrifices of human being is all over the world. Some of them are: A Nepalese man has confessed to the murder of a boy after saying a local holy man advised him that a human sacrifice would heal his ailing son. He also burnt some incense and recited mantras, after killing the boy. After all, he just believed the Shaman, what is usually the highest authority in villages to announce the source of the illnesses and bad fortune that befalls them. The Indian couple kidnapped and sacrificed a child to have their own child. The guru said that they should kidnap a boy and sacrifice him on the banks of the river. In October 2011, a 7-year-old Indian girl was dismembered by two farmers, who killed the girl and removed her liver as an offering in a ritual sacrifice to make sure a better harvest. In March 2010, the owners of a brickyard in Bangladesh became concerned that bricks were losing their sought-after reddish hue, so they decided to consult a fortune-teller. The seer suggested that the brickfield needed a “human sacrifice.” Therefore, the owners ordered four of their workers to kill one of their fellow labourers. The victim, a 26-year-old man, was killed and his head was baked in an oven.

The perpetrators and their collaborators capitalize on the prevalent irrational fear of the supernatural, and the poor and corrupt policing and justice system, to get away with these egregious violations. Victims of ritual sacrifice are mostly minors or vulnerable people who do not live to seek justice or redress or who lack the resources to seek redress if ever they survive the ordeal. The families of victims fear spiritual or supernatural backlash and do not hold their states accountable. And local authorities lack the political will to uphold the rule of law and protect human rights.

Some of the practices of human sacrifices are Increase crops will flourish following a sacrifice, Offer heart to the sea in to placate the gods and calm in the sea and on the earth, harvest human body parts to prepare charms and magical concoctions. These all happening are related with civilization, culture, practices, religion, knowledge, beliefs, etc. Civilization does not mean buying fashion clothes for their children or browsing Facebook all-day-long, or staring all day long at Bollywood movies and karaoke shows on TV. It even does not even mean to afford motorbikes, expensive landrovers, 5-floor villas and super-expensive boarding schools for the children. Civilization means to reject barbaric traditions which are magic and have nothing in common with real religion.

Gods are not physical beings, thus they really do not feel hunger or thirst. They do not require from us pseudo-sacrifices which cause suffering or death of other beings: instead they wish that a real, sincere “self-sacrificing” attitude is awakening in our hearts, when we offer our own comfort, own selfish interests etc. in the virtual “fire” of devotion! To live a moral, kind and gentle, caring life, in self-control of the senses and desires, compassionate and generous is the biggest sacrifice that Gods require from us: and this is much more difficult a task than to sacrifice other living beings. People had not been given the right to harm or take the life of other creations, not even in the name of “religion” or “devotion” to a “god or “guru”!

Yet, until today, I did not read or hear about any educational program organized by any of the hundreds of rights groups or NGOs and INGOs, with such an activity. The only thing they do after the tragedy happens, is to let the media know that they are “condemning” the act. Then again, everyone forgets it, and continue with a life in the same tracks of superstitions. There should be educational programs organized by respected religious authorities of all mainstream religions (Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim and Christian), explaining in remote backward villages and towns that magic, witch-accusations, child sacrifice, animal sacrifice are not Dharma, these are caused by ignorance, are shameful, against the law and are diabolic superstitions not leading to God, fortune, healing from illness or enlightenment. The Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and Other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act, 2013 was promulgated by the Maharashtra government to curb superstitious practices, claiming magical or miraculous remedies or powers. These types of acts and policies are very urgent to every country.


Citation: Pandey A. Ritual Killing and Human Sacrifice: Human Sacrifice Today. SM J Pharmac Ther. 2015; 1(1): 1004.

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