Orissa tribals shun animal sacrifice to please Goddess Kali

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Kuchipalli (Orissa), Oct. 22 (ANI): In a significant development, tribals of Kuchipali village in Orissa's Bargarh District have shunned their old practice of animal sacrifice and instead opted to offer a mixture of puffed rice and jaggery a.k.a Jugar to the Hindu Goddess Kali.

The festival combines the principles of the past with the ethics of modern day life; thus doing away with the barbaric act of animal sacrifice.

"For this particular religious procession we make six-feet high structures with Jugar, made from parched rice and jaggery. We decorate the structure with flowers and colourful papers and offer it to Goddess Kali," said Sangita Panda, a villager.

Panda added that the shift was the result of a movement, which was started by their ancestors in order to end the brutal killings of innocent animals.

During the procession, some Muslims also participated in this ritual like the Hindus, thus presenting a perfect example of communal harmony.

"I might be a Muslim, but the culture is largely the same. I am an ardent devotee of Goddess Kali and every year I come here to offer Jugar to Kali. Anybody who makes a wish in front of Goddess Kali has to come here and offer Jugar," said Mohammad Rafiq, a devotee.

The tradition has now been in vogue for 22 years and over a period of time has emerged as an example of communal brotherhood.

Villagers, on this occasion, said they have also been running a campaign in other villages to give up the practice of animal sacrifice.

The hunting of wild animals or trading in articles made from wild animals is prohibited under the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' Act of 1960. By Sarada Lahangir (ANI)

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