Tuesday, March 18, 2008

INDIA 2 and UNKNOWN - Transforming The Human Form

I came across this article and these pictures that follow the other day. They got me thinking about the ways hunmans are mutilated or mutilate themselves.

Some are fairly innocuous, such as the holes many people choose to poke in their ears and noses. Today, of course, there are many piercings, none of which I personally find very attractive.

Then there are the ritual mutilations, the religiously based ones. My religion, Sikhi, believes that Vaheguru (God) knew what s/he was doing in making our bodies and we believe in leaving the body as nearly as possible in its natural state. Other religions have other ideas. For example, Islam, Judaism and many animistic African religions practice male circumcise. (It is also a widely accepted 'health' practice in many Western countries.) What is called female circumcism is also practiced among some Muslims (although it is not part of the religion) and among many African tribes. This has nothing in common with the male version, except that it concerns the genitalia. In the women and girls, it is more properly called Female Genital Mutilation. The male version still leaves the penis functional , if a little strange-looking (to me, at least). The female version destroys all possibility of sexual pleasure in the woman - as is its purspose - and, in fact, makes coitus excruciatingly painful. for her.

Then there are mutilations as punishments. India has historically been the master of this. Long before Muslims were lopping off hands and heads , a rather extreme mutilation, eh?, the Indians were thus punishing thieves. Their more interesting examples, however, were reserved for adultery, when parts of the face were chopped off. (A nasty aside: one punishment for low caste or no caste Hindus for hearing the sacred words of the Vedas were to pour boiling metal in their ears. That'll teach 'em!) A woman might have her ears or her nose removed. That might have been where the [man] in this article got the idea.


Man blinds wife, cuts off her ears

BHOPAL: A man on the run from the law for the past two years blinded his wife and cut off her ears in Rama village of Madhya Pradesh's Bhind district, the police said on Tuesday.

Rakesh Yadav, 45, suspected that his wife Guddi, 40 was having an illicit relationship with his younger brother while he was on the run.

According to the police, villagers reportedly incited Yadav against his wife. He took his wife to their farm Monday evening on the pretext of some work. There he tied her with a rope, stabbed her eyes and cut off her ears.

Rakesh was about to chop off her nose when some villagers reached there and he ran away. The villagers rushed Guddi to a hospital and informed the police about the incident.

The police have registered a case of attempt to murder against Yadav.

Note that he just hadn't gotten to her nose yet.
The lady in this picture is Zahidah Parveen, I believe of Pakistan. Her husband completed the job of mutilation, taking her eyes, ears and nose. What was left of her survived.

Back to the first sort, the self-imposed. Plastic surgery, of course, takes it to a whole new level, from the image of the immovable face of Joan Rivers to this woman. Remember the tiny waist that Scarlett O'Hara tried for with a corset in Gone With The Wind? Well, this woman did it by the removal of ribs

and with the help of a (in my opinion) mad, unethical doctor.