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INDIA / QUIRKY: Priests whip women to ward off evil spirits in southern India

  • Story ref: X07101101
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Priests whip women to ward off evil spirits in southern India.

In a bid to ward off evil spirits from women, priests in India’s Tamil Nadu state perform a ritual of whipping women in full public view.

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ANI (India)
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TIRUCHIRAPALLI, TAMIL NADU, INDIA (OCTOBER 07, 2011) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (ANI-NO ACCESS BBC)

EXTERIOR OF A TEMPLE
IDOL OF A HINDU GOD
HINDU DEVOTEES STANDING IN THE TEMPLE PREMISES
A PRIEST OFFERING PR...

TIRUCHIRAPALLI, TAMIL NADU, INDIA (OCTOBER 07, 2011) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (ANI-NO ACCESS BBC)

EXTERIOR OF A TEMPLE
IDOL OF A HINDU GOD
HINDU DEVOTEES STANDING IN THE TEMPLE PREMISES
A PRIEST OFFERING PRAYERS
IDOLS OF HINDU GODS AND GODDESSES
A PRIEST OFFERING PRAYERS
DEVOTEES STANDING
DEVOTEES HOLDING FLAGS AND WALKING
DEVOTEES PERFORMING A TRADITIONAL DANCE
DEVOTEES BEATING DRUMS
A PRIEST WHIPPING WOMEN
WOMEN SQUATTING
CONTINUOUS WHIPPING IN PROGRESS
A WOMAN STANDING
ANOTHER WOMAN BEING WHIPPED
LOCALS STANDING
A PRIEST WHIPPING
WHIPPING IN PROGRESS
POLICEMEN AND LOCALS LOOKING

(SOUNDBITE) (Tamil) RAM KUMAR, A LOCAL, SAYING: “Priests at the temple lash women and break coconuts on their heads to ward off evil spirits that might have possessed them.
This is not done for money or any other personal gain. The motive of the ritual is to detach women from negative energies. A person is whipped four-five times to completely eliminate any evil spirits. A lot of people believe that this ritual could help them in their personal lives and that is why they come here.”
DEVOTEES SITTING
A COCONUT BEING SMASHED ON A DEVOTEE’S HEAD
ANOTHER DEVOTEE’S HEAD BEING SMASHED WITH COCONUT

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