Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Monkey God or a looney ?

Thousands of people are flocking to an impoverished Indian village to worship a man they believe possesses divine powers because he climbs up trees in seconds, gobbles up bananas and has a "tail".

Devotees say 27-year-old villager Chandre Oraon is an incarnation of the Hindu monkey god Hanuman, worshipped by millions as a symbol of physical strength, perseverance and devotion.

"He climbs up trees, behaves like a monkey and is a strict vegetarian, but he is no god and his condition is just a congenital defect," says Bhushan Chakraborty, the local medical officer.

Tucked away in a hamlet in Banarhat, over 650 kilometres north of Kolkata, the state capital, devotees wait for hours to see or touch Oraon's 35 centimetre tail, believing that it has healing powers.

Doctors said the "tail" - made up of some flesh but mostly of dark hair - was simply a rare physical attribute.

"It is a congenital anomaly, but very rarely do we find such cases," B Ramana, a Kolkata-based surgeon said.

1 comment:

yellowdog granny said...

i think the human tree has another branch on it...and our friend here is swinging off of it..