I’m sure like me, you too thought that an exorcism and other dark ‘healing’ procedures are a thing of the past. Especially in urban and progressive areas we’ve moved past all the hocus-pocus and onto more scientific things. However, sadly you’re mistaken as was I.
Kolkata man, Surjodeb Basu shared a horrific incident on his Facebook page which he witnessed. It was the exorcism of a young 21-year-old girl in a temple in upscale south Kolkata.
According to Times of India, close to Deshapriya Park, Bhutnath Ghughu stays who is an exorcist. Almost everyday around 7 PM, Ghughu and his wife Kalpana sit to ‘free’ a person from some sort of negative spiritual influence.
In many belief systems and cultures exorcism refers to the religious or spiritual practice of evicting demonic presence in a place affected or a person posessed.
On Friday, Basu witnessed a similar thing happening in Kolkata. He said,
“It was around 8 pm when I saw a crowd watching the ‘bhut tarano’ exercise. A young girl was being pinned down by a red T-shirt clad man. But, he wasn’t the priest. She kept on screaming to be let off but nobody came to her rescue.”
He said that he couldn’t take this violence and reported it to the police. In his Facebook post he described the incident saying, “The slum residents crowded almost enjoying the spectacle. Few even mentioned that the girl had been to hospital for mental health issues. But no such issue was obvious as she kept shouting to the obese man who had physically pinned her down, “amake chere Dao” (let me go) as she writhed and struggled to get free as her clothes significantly came undone too publicly in this struggle.”
The police authorities also said that they tried to go and investigate but there was no one there. They tried uncovering the truth and found out that the girl was undergoing treatment at the hospital which was not helping and so her parents brought her to this spiritual healer. Neither the parents nor the girl filed a complain about this.
The girl is a first year student at a south Kolkata college and her father is a driver by profession. She was convinced that the healer helped her through a difficult phase and said,
“Earlier, I didn’t believe in all these. Today, I am a believer.”
She had exams on Saturday but couldn’t make it. Her college also doesn’t know about the incident. She even spoke English fluently and shared dreams of her future and career. However, she wasn’t too keen on college because she doesn’t have any friends there.
Her mother and uncle claimed that she was admitted to the hospital but was discharged because her reports were okay. On Friday she had another episode where she became violent and was then taken to the temple and later mazar for healing.
According to locals Bhutnath Ghughu is very popular with these kinds of exorcism to ward off evil spirits. While some believe that it actually works and cures people, others think he is just exploiting them for money.
While many of us may rubbish it off, for a lot of others, this is the only way out. It’s still sad though to see how blindly people are ready to trust people like Ghughu who have no scientific backing for what they do.