When Indian Politics Rewards You for Cutting Off Your Tongue

by Sharell शारेल on May 26, 2011

in Culture Shock in India

Post image for When Indian Politics Rewards You for Cutting Off Your Tongue

How can you get 1 lakh rupees in cash, 36,000 rupees to cover your medical expenses, AND a government job in India? Simple! Just cut off your tongue if the political party that you support wins the election.

I normally ignore anything to do with politics as it only leaves me shaking my head in disbelief and frustration, but this was just too bizarre. A 32 year old woman from Tamil Nadu vowed to sever her tongue if the All India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party was elected to power. Sure enough, when the party did win, she went to a temple and cut it off. Doctors apparently failed to reattach it, despite Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa intervening and rushing her to a private hospital to be treated. The Chief Minister then compensated, or should we say rewarded, the woman with money and a job in a canteen for her efforts.

My first thought was how ridiculous! Surely, this will just encourage other acts of self harm. I’m not alone in thinking this either as the act has attracted widespread criticism from a human rights campaigner.

Unfortunately, it seems acts of self harm aren’t isolated incidents in Tamil Nadu politics. It’s shockingly been going on for the past four decades, since the anti-Hindi agitations in 1965. Many cadres resorted to suicide to add impetus to their protests then. In return, political parties made them out to be martyrs. Even today, their families still continue receive state pensions.

The last time someone cut off their tongue was in 2002, in support of the same political party. It was the chief’s 54th birthday, and a tea shop vendor decided to celebrate it by severing his tongue and offering it at the Tirupathi temple.

Shame he didn’t wrap it up with a ribbon and offer it as a gift to the chief instead!

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© Copyright 2011 Sharell शारेल, Diary of a White Indian Housewife 2008-2014. All Rights Reserved. Do not copy and reproduce text or images without permission.

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{ 271 comments… read them below or add one }

veeeeeh June 15, 2011 at 9:50 pm

One key competitive advantage attribute of Homo Sapiens has been the ability to empathize, language and ability to store the knowledge.

The cornerstone of Human civlization has been ideas and innovation. Human domain of idea based innovation has always been affected by the resistance to change the dogma of religion.

And the west has already started working on creating an environment based on individual freedom of speech and thought, and some are even permissible to the idea communication through symbolic burning of their national flag.

Just like in nature where variation creates possibility of one stream of development strategy to become superior than others in the evolved environment, The multiplicity and plurality of ideas do create more possibility of development of human civlization.

Any endeavour of creativity should b e allowed and any resistance by the dominanting beleif system or religon is the real tragedy.

Artists and writers are creative folks who do translate their ideas and imagination into some tangible forms. Its the key ingredient for fostering other ideas.

I don’t support any strategy by the creative genre of people to habitually and intentionally propogate tangible products based on their ideas, which generates lots of controversy, and keeps them in the limelight.

I support Salman Rusdhie’s freedom of speech and expression, as I support M F hussain’s freedom of speech and expression.

The limit to one’s individual freedom is when it results in hinderance of someone else’s individual freedom.

Personally I don’t see any problems in broadcasting of idea and its tangible product form, if does not affect anyone’s freedom. Belief is different from Freedom, and multiple belief systems can co-exist.

I have always thought why a predominant beleif system became so hypocrite that, it has created ideas like Khujrao temple, Work like Kamasutra was work of a sage like person, Temples walls and gopurams are sculpted with nude and semi nude images of celestial nymphs and even the phallic symbol used as manifestation of a life giver. Like all pagan religion, this beleif system also believed that its possible to see god in the act of the sex based ecstactic state.

I am not concerned about radicalized inflexible belief system that does not even allow any other form of economical, political and social legal system.

My ideal is an environment where multiple beleif systems co exist and foster development of creative ideas with least resistance to positive change


Amit Desai June 16, 2011 at 10:44 am

veeeeeh, “…Just like in nature where variation creates possibility of one stream of development strategy to become superior than others in the evolved environment, The multiplicity and plurality of ideas do create more possibility of development of human civlization…”

The development means both: positive and negative development. Applying the ideas of non-dualism, every positive thing is equally negative. So, plurality of ideas would also bring more possibilities of conflicts and devastation. Variation in nature creates a lot of possibilities of negative development too, that includes the development of stronger superior traits. Long ago, I have seen a video about one particular natural phenomena. Here is the narrative:

*In a jungle, a female monkey has just finished giving birth. She is laid on the ground looking weak and partly unconscious. A leopard sees an opportunity and intuitively attacks the female monkey killing her on the spot (though soon we would know that leopard kills the monkey due to its natural stronger instinct ‘to kill’, not the other stronger instinct of hunger). Now as soon as the female money is dead, the newly born baby moves and the leopard spots the baby too.

Now the story takes dramatic turn. The leopard is a female herself (now we have another instinct of ‘mother nature’). So she tries to take the baby to a safer place fighting off a few other predators in the process. She also tries hard to feed the baby monkey.

Can you guess the climax of the story? What’s a moral of this story?


veeeeeh June 16, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Thats an interesting story, infact I remember seeing a similar story where a Hippo fought with a crocodile to save a baby deer and its was nursing and visibly upset when despite its effort the baby deer died.

Its one of those ‘bing’ moment when one realizes how much we still don’t know! I still would wonder if the act was driven by maternal instincts or empathy.

You have raised a nice perspective where I can visualise forest as the environment and the different species living as the ideas.

There would be predator ideas like religon, on the top of the food chain. And four of five groups of lions would be fighting for the turf. And this is making my imagination run riot as to how the group of lions (religon) would fight amongst each other and prey on the other species (Ideas and thoughts)

Forest (environment) is unbiased and treats all the species with same variables. All species (Ideas) compete…..some thrive on the opportunity given by the environment…and some perish when forest exposes their weakness.

I might sound ideal, but what I am really saying is that the environment for Ideas should be unbiased and there should not be more predators than prey in the jungle.

Hope that explains


Manny June 15, 2011 at 9:58 pm

So why did the lefties ban that book/ideas “Satanic Verses” in India? Why not support freedom of speech like you stated, just like how M.F.Hussain’s paintings of Hindu Godessess in the nude is being celebrated as Art?

Why did the lefties ban the movie “The Da Vinci Code ” in India?


Manny June 15, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Why do the “Sekularist” leftists insisists of protecting the two Goliath religions of the world, but insist on controlling and are fearful of the Hindus who have no dark history like the two Golaith religions of the world?


veeeeeh June 15, 2011 at 10:31 pm

I don’t support left as well. But I tolerate thier view. And seriously, I would not know the answer


Mohit Gupta June 15, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Manny ,

I would have accepted Nude Potrait of SITA , HANUMAN and SARASWATI as ART only if gallery of MF Huseein also included Nude Paintings of Bibi Fatimah , Muhammed Saheb , Jejus , Mother Mary.

But even a sybolic cartoon become the object of world-wide protest follwed by violence that no one even dare to even think about Painting anything related to ISLAM in nude.

MF Huseein understood the psyche of India very much.He knew protest would follow.But Popularity and money would also flow in the succession.He knew that most that can happen to him is being charged and conviction in the lower courts.And nothing.!

Same people who were vocal in the support of MF Huessin were SILENT on the issues of TASLIMA NASRIN and SALMAN RUSHDI.

Hypocrisy at its worst !


veeeeeh June 15, 2011 at 10:50 pm


I am not a information provider, and just stating my Opinion here in the comments. its not even a thesis where I need to do a reserch to support my OPINION. If you don’t like my opinion, you have every damn right to dis aggree. And i am not trying to convert your opinion and beliefs…am comfortable and tolerant of your extreme right views and suggested solutions.

You have become very predicatable friend – calling anti India, anti hindu, even obscene words, and becoming judgemental about other person because you can’t tolerate his opinion and beliefs. Try something new then palying with semantics, grammer or asking for facts to support “BELIEF or OPINION”.

Me spamming is much better than you spamming about the definition of a “Real Woman”, your hypocricy of invisibility of women’s state in India (you would not accept UNICEF report!!), Your personal attacks on others faiths and belief, Your regional chanivism everything is visible for tohers to read in your thoughts and opinion.

You have right to it, and I am comfortable with it. i am judging you because you are judging me from my thoughts and opinions and giving me a new religion too.

I have decided to ignore you. You are free to spam in your predicatable modus operandi.


Mohit Gupta June 16, 2011 at 1:52 am

@ Veeeeehhhhhhh

You can’t have second opinions about Homi Jehangir Bhabha’s Religion.He was a parsee not Muslim !
You can’t have second opinion about who killed Gandhi .It was Nathuram Godse and not RSS.
You can’t have second opinion about Israel-Palestine issue as Palestine was partiontioned not ISRAEL.

If you can have wrong opinion and audacity to post here others also have the right to object to them and CORRECT you.

I had already decided to ignore you.But you started responding voluntarily to my posts so I had to be involved again.I would better be silent then talking with a person whose favorite pastime is classifying people in to “RIGHT-WINGER” “REGIONAL-CHAUVINIST” , etc , etc .. who is a self-proclaimed righteous to the extent that he actually judge his spamming to be better than any other else..!


veeeeeh June 16, 2011 at 5:05 am

You don’t call my messages as spams, If i paste messages in your blog, Please do say. But if anyone has right to classify my messages as spam…Its Sharell.

And its good for me for I would not want to interact with someone who calls me anti india, anti hindu, calls me with obscene words and makes me a muslim.

And look who is talking about judging when your political affiliation and ideology is clearly visible.

Better for me, for I am looking at constructive criticism and agitation of thought process, certainly not looking for inhibitors.


Mohit Gupta June 16, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Veeeeh ,

Everybody have some political affiliation and that is how democracy work.How having political inclination bad? If all becomes neutral
and don’t VOTE how will democracy function.

Different political inclination should not be seen as personal animosity.I don’t need to follow same political ideology to become anyone’s friend.And if I happen to be an ACTIVE MEMBER of any political party then how this fact should be used as an excuse to brand me anything.

Why should I or you should be hesitated about about your political inclination.

“Anti-India” or ‘Anti-Hindu” , I didn’t used these words about you.


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