A ritual that is standing still on the basis of tradition, has compelled people to rethink about the limits one can cross while hiding under the shadow of customs and traditions. The Deoprakhi festival is held every year in the village of Khokana in the Kathmandu valley, which involves sacrificing a female goat.
However, it’s the story of the sacrifice that got me all irked up. A young female goat is thrown into a pond in the village, and is bitten, strangled and pulled by villagers until it dies. Such barbarism is held every year in the month of August so as to appease the Gods in the pond.
This savage ritual takes place in the pond situated near the Rudrayana temple and, is purposely extended amounting to almost 40 minutes, following the superstition that a slow death would appease the God greatly.
This has caught the attention of various animal activists and people and, they have launched campaigns year after year, which would finally end such barbaric tradition. Despite the protests and worldwide support for it’s abolishment, the festival still takes place with increased viciousness every year.
The 900-year old custom raises questions that definitely need to be answered soon. How far can people go to appease a God and follow superstition? Till when such barbarism should be allowed in the name of tradition? In order to respect sentiments of the associated people, are people forgetting to respect life?
This festival highlights the obliviousness towards torture, disrespect for life and the savage display of cruelty. The tradition does not only kill the baby female goat which is thrashed with atrocity, it also impacts young kids who are witnessing the festival, making them insensitive and numb to the suffering of living beings.
Several major organizations like PETA, Nepalese organization called Animal Welfare Network Nepal, and animal activists campaigners across Europe and Asia have joined hands and, have made constant appeal to the government to exterminate the festival.
Nepal has been home to various cruel festivals that celebrate sacrifice in the most heinous manner. It is the utmost need of the Nepalese government to put a stop to such monstrous acts, that are being carried out in the name of traditions and superstitions.