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A bizarre ritual in UP town during eclipse

Last updated: 17 January, 2010
Sanjay Pandey, Lucknow, Jan 17, DH News Service: 22:51 IST

When the entire country had come out to watch the longest solar eclipse that occurred on Friday, some people in Uttar Pradeshs town of Meerut did something bizarre.


Instead of the watching the eclipse, they rushed to a graveyard in the middle of the town, which is about 400 km from here, with their polio-stricken children.

The parents and the kin of these children dug out the soil in the graveyard and buried the polio-stricken part into it, in the hope that they would be healed on their own during the eclipse.

“We believe that the solar eclipse affects the soil also...the soil undergoes some changes during the eclipse and hence it may correct the deformity in the children,” said Shaheen Fatima, a woman, who had buried the polio-stricken leg of her son in soil in the graveyard.

Another parent Manzoor Ahmed also echoed similar sentiments. “Solar eclipse affects everything. It has been scientifically proven. We are certain it also brings some changes in the soil,” he said.

On the day of the solar eclipse, the graveyard in Meerut was filled with children who suffered from either polio or some other ailments of body parts which could be buried inside the soil.

These parents ensured that the ailing body parts remained inside the soil for some time at least so that it could prove to be “beneficial” to them.

The bizarre ritual has caught the officials by surprise. “We have heard reports to this effect...we are looking into them and will take necessary action,” a district official said.
Dr Vinod Mishra, a Lucknow-based astrologer, while admitting that the solar eclipse does affect the atmosphere, it cannot change the soil or put into it any quality that could heal wounds or cure polio.

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