#Islamophobia is trending on Twitter, today on 26 0ctober. The term seems to be having different connotations for many and it is possible that in this debate on islamophobia many facts will be put forward to prove one’s point. It is also a possibility that facts put forward may just be fake or a mixture of reality and exaggeration of the events.
In the comments and tweets which followed the streak of trend a user pointed out the animals being butchered in Nepal, the other pointed out that it has already been banned in the hilly nation. It is this fact which we have examined in this post.
So, what is this event in which such a large number of animals used to get killed?
This event is celebrated as a festival in Nepal and is known as the Gadhimai Festival. It was an event celebrated once every five years where more than half a million animals used to get butchered in the event. It was believed to be the worlds largest ritual slaughter. A report from the New York Times tells that at times when this event was at peak, around 500,000 animals used to get butchered in this single event. The animals butchered included from water buffalo to rats and pigeons as well as goats. The ritual had been under attack from major animal rights groups from all over the world.
Were cows killed in this event?
Contrary to many claims on the internet about cows being slaughtered in the event, we were unable to find any such reliable report. Cow slaughter has been banned in Nepal as well as in parts of India. However, many reliable media outlets indeed reported a large number of events being butchered in the event.
How did all this start?
Locals believe the Gadhimai festival started around 265 years ago, when a Nepali farmer called Bhagwan Chaudhary had a dream that his problems could be solved if he offered blood to the goddess Gadhimai. For the initial sacrifice, he lanced five points on his body.
Since then, the metrics have changed, with animal blood replacing human blood, and Mr. Chaudhary’s descendants assuming leadership positions in the temple. Today’s Gadhimai festival has become so popular that wealthy businessmen and politicians have constructed welcome signs along the road leading to Bariyarpur.
Is the festival continuing?
Much has changed since the Nepalese Supreme Court passed an order prohibiting the government support to animal sacrifice. After it, the Indian Government also banned such transport of cattle across the border.
As per figures given in a NW Time report in Dec 2019, the number of such slaughters has been drastically reduced from about 500,000 in 2009 to somewhere near 3,500 in 2019. This was achieved partly due to the effort of Nepalese and Indian authorities as well as denial of support by the Nepal Government to such activities in pursuance of Supreme Court Judgement.