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Superstition reigns as Bundelkhand prays for rain

Having witnessed the vagaries of nature over the last few monsoons, the people in Bundelkhand, comprising 13 districts in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, are resorting to superstitions and rituals to make the rain gods smile.

lucknow Updated: Jul 19, 2018 14:26 IST
Haidar Naqvi
Haidar Naqvi
Hindustan Times, Kanpur
Supersition,Rains,Bundelkhand
While unseasonal rains wreaked havoc in 2016, the last two seasons have seen Bundelkhand not getting enough rain, which has deepened the water crisis.(HT Photo)

Having witnessed the vagaries of nature over the last few monsoons, the people in Bundelkhand, comprising 13 districts in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, are resorting to superstitions and rituals to make the rain gods smile.

The region, one of the most backward ones in the state, was affected by a continuous drought between 2003 and 2010, flood in 2011, rainfall deficit in 2012-13 and a second spell of drought in 2014. While unseasonal rains wreaked havoc in 2016, the last two seasons have seen Bundelkhand not getting enough rain, which has deepened the water crisis. Ponds and rivers have dried up and 90% of hand pumps are idle due to fall in the water level.

In the hope of pleasing the rain god, people in Maudaha, Hamirpur, married off frogs at a temple in a grand ceremony on Tuesday.

The ritual, they said, was the most popular one in Bundelkhand to get rain.

The marriage procession was taken out from the house of one Raza Hussain and it went up to the temple where Raj Narayan Gupta, playing father of the female frog, accorded a rousing welcome to the ‘baraat’.

The temple priest performed the marriage rituals amid Vedic hymns.

Arvind Maharaj, a social activist who attended the ceremony, said the ritual had no scientific basis but it meant a lot to the people. “The ritual is part of our belief system. People feel it works to get rains,” he said.

At Mauranipur in Jhansi, some women manually ploughed their fields in the hope of sufficient rainfall.

One of them said farms had not received proper rainfall in the last four-five years and they were ploughing the field to please the rain god Indra as a part of a longstanding tradition. “We now hope he will shower his blessings and we can have a good harvest,” she said from Mauranipur in Jhansi.

First Published: Jul 19, 2018 14:26 IST