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  • » 11/20/2009, 00.00

    NEPAL

    Buddhists and animal rights activists against Hindu sacrifice to Gadhimai

    Kalpit Parajuli

    In Bara district, where the ‘living Buddha’ meditates, more than a million Hindus are preparing to sacrifice half a million animals during the festival of Gadhimai Mela. Actress Brigitte Bardot wants the inhumane practice stopped. More than 12,000 police agents are mobilised for the occasion.
    Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Hundreds of Buddhists and animal rights activists are protesting against the Hindu festival of  Gadhimai Mela in Bayapur, Bara district (southeastern Nepal). During the event, half a million animals will be slaughtered. More than a million Hindu pilgrims are expected to gather for the occasion on 25 November. Nepali authorities have deployed more than 12,000 police officers.

    Gadhimai Mela is one of the most important festivities on the Hindu calendar and the largest sacrificial happening in the world. It usually lasts a week, ending on the third Friday of November.

    During the celebrations, the faithful sacrifice animals like buffaloes, sheep and chickens in honour of the god Gadhimai. According to Hindu belief, such offerings reduce the god’s anger, and bring people luck and prosperity. 

    However, Bara district is also a major Buddhist pilgrimage site. This is where Ram Bahadur Bomjan, known as the living reincarnation of the Buddha, meditates year round.

    At present, hundreds of Buddhists and activists are praying with him to stop the animal sacrifice.

    “The killing of animals in the name of sacrifice is the most serious crime. So it must be stopped immediately,” said Rinpoche Sange Rangjung, a Buddhist monk and protest leader. “In no religion are animal sacrifices prescribed”.

    Demonstrators, who are backed by French actress and animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot, are calling on the Nepali government to legislate in the matter to ban the practice in the future.  

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    See also

    22/09/2017 17:10:00 NEPAL
    As Dashain starts, mass slaughter of animals sparks protest by Buddhists and animal rights activists

    The 15-day event is the most important religious celebration in Nepal. Animal rights activists have gone to Hindu temples to raise awareness among believers. The stench of rotting dead animals fills the areas near the places of worship. Police have been deployed to prevent confrontation.



    08/10/2016 15:50:00 NEPAL
    Kathmandu: Hindus and Buddhists against ‘black festivals", i.e. the animal slaughter at Dashain

    Hundreds of people protest in front of the temples where Hindus sacrifice oxen, sheep, goats, and birds to the gods. The Dashain festival commemorates the gods’ great victory over wicked demons. For vegetarians, only “Pope Francis [. . .] is very serious in making appeals on behalf of the environment and animals”.



    29/07/2015 NEPAL
    Animal slaughter banned at Hindu feast of Gadhimai, goddess of power
    The Gadhimai Festival is held every five years and brings in millions of pilgrims from India and Nepal. In 2009, 500,000 buffaloes, goats and chickens were killed. In 2014, the number dropped after a ruling by the Indian Supreme Court banning livestock movement between the two countries.

    25/09/2014 NEPAL
    Buddhists and animal rights activists against animal slaughter for Durga
    Dashain, Nepal's longest and most important Hindu festival, begins. It marks the birth of the goddess Durga and her victory over an evil demon. To help the deity, tens of thousands of animals are slaughtered to provide fresh sacrificial blood. However, as important as it is, "we can begin to rethink this tradition," a Hindu leader says.

    17/10/2012 NEPAL
    Young Hindus against Dashain animal slaughter
    For the Shri Krishna Pranami Youth Council, the government is profiting from the Hindu festival. Some 70,000 goats are sacrificed during Dashain. Nepal imported 29,000 live sheep, 370,400 live goats and 59,810 live buffaloes last fiscal year. For one expert, such inhumane practices push people away from Hinduism.



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