50-year old Jamun Yadav, who considers himself to be a demigod of the Hindu faith, believes he can channel and transfer divine energy through his feet, which has lead to him standing on the necks and throats of young children suffering from your average run-of-the-mill cold.
Santosh Singh, who served as a spokesman for the police on the case, stated that the parents who allowed this self-described holy man were most likely unaware of his methods. When asked about them, the guru claimed that he was merely speaking for God, and as such needs no other defense.
Although an isolated incident, it serves as a grim reminder of the dangerous religious traditions observed by many Hindus in India, many of which are done so for the health of their children. One such ritual involves throwing infants off of a fifty foot tower, a tradition thought to bring good health and luck to the child throughout his or her life.
The children are tossed from the tower onto a tightly stretched sheet below, where they seemingly bounce safely and are then handed to their mothers. This bizarre and dangerous ritual, which has been practiced for 500 years, has yet to count any fatalities, but that hasn’t stopped critics from deriding it as unsafe.
The ritual is typically performed by Hindus and Muslims alike in the Indian district of Solapur, which is located in Maharashtra, as well as smaller outlying villages. Before the event happens, the parents of the babies being take a vow at a temple.
A more recent incident highlights the case of Nek Singh, an Indian guru who employs brutal beatings to "cure any ailment," including cancer. Oddly enough, all of his "patients" were women. The treatment involved savage kicks and punches, and even standing on the head of the individual. The guru proclaimed that the goddess Kali possessed him, enabling him with the power to heal through physical violence.
Based out of the Etah district of Uttar Pradesh in India, police eventually raided the village, but the self-proclaimed spiritual healer managed to evade capture. Although his whereabouts are unknown, I would be surprised if he and his neck stompin’ buddy are enjoying a cold beer somewhere in hiding.
Another similarly disturbing tradition is the practice of burying disabled children alive up to their necks for six hours during a solar eclipse for approximately six hours. This is seemingly done to offset the negative effects that are thought to be caused by a prior solar eclipse.
Although genuine testing has been done to test the relationship between mud therapy and the eclipse, no conclusions have been drawn, despite many mothers stating their children have experienced improved mobility after undergoing the terrifying ritual.