Secular Madness

This is surely the WTF headline of the year so far:

Incredible India! Infants thrown off roofs to thank God

Here’s the video. Watch it, it’s astonishing.

And here’s the WTF quote of the piece, from “deputy sarpanch of Musti village, Ravikiran Mehta”:

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.

I have a theory for how this tradition came to exist. Centuries ago, some village patriarch went mad and started throwing kids off the roof. The kids got brain-damaged in the process, and continued the tradition when they became parents, causing the next generation to also become brain-damaged. And so on. What else can explain such lunacy?

But wait, there’s more. The last (terribly ungrammatical) sentence of the report says:

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.

Yes, the cops don’t protect the kids—they protect the idiots throwing them off a roof. If I pinch myself any more the mosquitoes will go on strike.

(Link via separate emails from vinjk and Mahendra Shikaripur.)

Update: I’d embedded the video on this page, but it kept making a pop-up ad open when this page was refreshed. I hate pop-ups, and would hardly want to inflict such inconvenience on my readers, so I’ve changed that to a link.

Update 2: Krishna Prasad writes in pointing me to his post last year about a similar ritual in North Karnataka. Ah, tradition!