Topic: India: villagers shun man they believe is dead... despite his protests
Babbler # 4795
posted 18 January 2006 08:24 AM
quote:(Bhopal) Raju Raghuvanshi will tell you he is alive. But ask his friends and family, and they'll tell you the man you just spoke with is a ghost sent to haunt them.
Believed by his friends and family to have died in prison, Raghuvanshi returned home earlier this month from his short jail stint to shouts of "Help! Ghost!" and the sounds of neighbours locking their doors in his home village of Katra.
"My family thinks I am dead," he said in a phone interview Monday. "They will not permit me to enter my home because they think I am a ghost."
Ostracized by the people of Katra, about 450 kilometres from Bhopal, he's now living in a nearby village and struggling to prove he's alive.
The best proof he had - that his feet were still properly attached, not turned backward as ghosts' feet are thought to be - was dismissed by villagers.
He said his brothers even "argued that they had completed all religious death ceremonies" and he should not have come back to haunt them.
Rural India remains deeply traditional and many in Katra share the traditional Hindu belief that they will be haunted by a ghost if ceremonies are not performed to ensure the soul of the deceased makes a peaceful transition into its next life.
[ 18 January 2006: Message edited by: Hephaestion ]
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