Exorcism exercised on teen in Kolkata, FB post reveals scary details
A certain Facebook post by Surjodeb Basu has managed to expose the incidents of exorcism in an upscale South Kolkata neighbourhood. Situated close to Deshapriya Park and just a few steps away from the 39 Panditya Place Office of Hope Kolkata Foundation, is the home of exorcist Bhutnath Ghughu.
It is like a daily routine for Bhutnath and his wife Kalpana who sit to free a person from some sort of negative spiritual influence at around 7 pm, every evening. According to what various cultures say, exorcism refers to the spiritual or religious practice of helping a person get rid of demons or an area that is believed to be possessed.
Here is the post:
Friday evening, Basu was supposedly a witness to one such session in the very heart of Kolkata. Basu 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. I couldn’t take this violence and complained to the cops”
A senior officer of Gariahat police station said:
“We had sent a team of policemen to the temple but didn’t find anyone there. We also tried to enquire about the incident when we were informed that there was a woman who was undergoing treatment at a nearby hospital for several days but was not recuperating. So, her relatives brought her to the temple. But the relatives never complained of any violence on the woman and didn’t lodge a complaint.”
Well, the victim was a 21-year-old girl who is a first-year student at a South Kolkata college and lives in a slum on Panditya Road. Her father is a driver by profession and even though she did not really want to rewind to her healing episode, she still said:
“Earlier, I didn’t believe in all these. Today, I am a believer.” Her college, she said, isn’t aware of the incident. “I had exams on Saturday but couldn’t make it to the college”
According to her mother and uncle:
“Doctors at the hospital where she was admitted had discharged her because her reports were OK. But on Friday, she suddenly became very violent and we just couldn’t handle her. That’s why we took her for healing at the temple. After the visit to the temple, we also took her to a mazar for healing.”
Speaking in fluent English, she also shared her dreams of a career as a company secretary. Apparently, college does not excite her much. She doesn’t have “any friends” in college, unlike school.
There were certain eye witnesses who claimed that people who have been inflicted with ‘hawa batash’, often come for Ghughu’s healing sessions.
This is what Kanai Biswai, local shopkeeper had to say:
“Spirits roam around and caress the person. That’s what we call ‘hawa batash laga’. A person has to be freed from this. Daily we see at least seven or eight people getting healed this way. Ghosts and spirits exist. I definitely believe in this process of healing,”
However, tailor Sanjay Naskar had opposing views and said”
“The priest took some money and just exploited them”
Ghughu and his wife while busily distributing prasad to the devotees, rubbished all criticism, and said:
“We never force anyone to pay us. A person can pay whatever he or she wants. We are fine even if they don’t pay anything at all. The girl had claimed that she was possessed by her sister-in-law’s spirit who had died 20 years ago. It takes five to seven minutes to free a person of the spirit.”
Ghughu’s daughter, Phuleswari Das, claimed:
“There is no violence involved in this faith healing. People come here from as far as Garia, Delhi and Mumbai,”
However, Sambhu Nandi, secretary of Paschim Banga Bigyan Mancha’s Kolkata district committee said:
“This is a criminal activity. It is shocking to note that such acts are still happening in the heart of Kolkata. People are taking advantage of lack of awareness and vulnerability. We will intervene immediately”
However, mental health practitioners are not ready to completely rubbish off exorcism. Recently, there has been a rise in cases of ‘possessions’ which has led the Vatican to lately open its doors for its annual exorcism course. As of now, the demand for deliverance from demonic possession is facing a global rise. This sure is one shocking case. What are your thoughts on this?