Even 70 years after independence, the tribal district of Jhabua is still steeped in superstition and home for strange practices.
On Diwali, thousands of tribal people gather at Chui village in the district to witness headless carcass of a buffalo rolling down a hillock, which apparently predicts the rainfall the area.
More the carcass rolls, the better rainfall is predicted during monsoon.
Based on this prediction, tribal farmers decide which crop to sow.
Mukesh Parmar, a farmer from Samoi village, said: “This tradition has been going on for generations. This is a tribal technique to find out the amount of rainfall.”
Gabia Hatila, a tribal farmer from Kushalpura village, said the tradition dates back to the Mahabharat era. “In my 60 years, I have never seen the prediction to go wrong,” he said.
Another tribal man citizen Kaigu Hatila argued, “Newspapers and televisions have come now. How did our ancestors know about the rainfall? The rainfall is predicted correctly due to a ceremony performed before the buffalo is slaughtered.”
Interestingly, the Ranapur police provide security for this ceremony.
Ranapur thana in-charge BS Sisodiya said security was provided as thousands of people gather to see the event.
Social activists are against the practice and termed it as “illegal”.
Ravindra Tomar, who has studied tribal ways of life, said: “Just because it is a tradition does not mean it should be continued today. The government should hold awareness camps and weather forecasts should be provided through panchayat.”
A day after Diwali, festival ‘Gai Gohari’ takes place in 40 places in Jhabua. Devotees, who have asked for something before God, prostate themselves on the path of cows that is beautifully decorated on that day.
Amid fireworks, the cows are driven and often many devotees are injured when they come under the hoofs of cows.
The biggest Gai Gohari takes place at Govardhan temple.
Mukesh Solanki, who has taken a ‘Mannat’, said: “We believe that if we are facing any difficult or desire something and pray to God for it, our wish will be fulfilled if we place ourselves before cow.”
Social worker Manish Bhasha, who has been working among tribals for long, said the festival was seen as a part of the tribal culture, but cows run amok as crackers are burst.
He said this should be stopped as a number of people get serious injuries after being hit by cows.
On Diwali, tribal people gather at Chui village in the district to witness headless carcass of a buffalo rolling down a hillock
More the carcass rolls, the better rainfall is predicted during monsoon