video link - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzX0xIAQTa8
There are several places in India; there we see the physical torture in the name of religion, especially in ‘Gajon’ festival in West Bengal. Through self torture many people create a fearful and adventurous environment. Without witnessing it no one can realize the violence that takes place. Approximately more than thousand devotees take place in a festival. And more than 250 people participate in arrow piercing. Generally the villagers arrange this rural festival ‘Gajon’ in every last week of Bengali calendar year. In this festival villagers worship lord Shiva. To pacify Hindu lord Shiva (the destroyer) they perform an inhuman and ruthless custom namely; ‘Baan-forh’ (arrow piercing) and ‘Charhak’. What is Baan-forh?
A six millimeter diameter pointed metal rod is pierced through the tongue and cheek of the performer. In this condition they dance and celebrate throughout the night and day. Sometimes performer pierced the Baan on his skin-it may be in abdomen, chest, neck or any other part of human body. In case of Charhak, the performer is hung from a very tall post with the help of two or more metal hooks pierced through the skin of back and then the person is rotated at high speed. People enjoy and celebrate this kind of crude and gruesome religious practice of inflicting pain on one’s own body. It is watched and applauded by thousands-some time lakhs who gather at the air-ground. By the way, the performers all are from tribal classes, none from upper classes. Worship, management committee members of the festival, all from upper classes and they use the lower cast people to fulfill the wish to god.
At the age of 17 a rationalist worker Aniket Roy of Bankura joined him selves in the act of arrow piercing to realize as a rationalist the sentiments of the performer. There is a belief conveyed by the villagers that during arrow piercing no one can feel pain, but it is totally wrong. Pain is felt but due to mass hysteria the pain faded away. The rationalists have been campaigning against this gruesome custom from many years. They also urged the administration to abolish this custom. In many public awareness programme, the rationalists perform arrow piercing. There they explain the cause behind the miraculous arrow piercing. They say that, any people, with a little courage can do this practice. The devotees, specially that time, are in fasting condition for long days. Due to fasting, the fat under the skin dissolved and it helps loosen the skin, so the act of arrow piercing is easier for them.