Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Religion, Spirituality, Superstition, Death

A teenage girl in central India killed herself after being traumatised by media reports that a 'Big Bang' experiment in Europe could bring about the end of the world, her father said.

The 16-year old girl from the state of Madhya Pradesh drank pesticide and was rushed to the hospital but later died, police said.

Her father, identified on local television as Biharilal, said that his daughter, Chayya, killed herself after watching doomsday predictions made on Indian news programmes.

'In the past two days, Chayya had asked me and other relatives about the world coming to an end on September 10,' Biharilal said.

'We tried to divert her attention and told her she should not worry about such things, but to no avail.'

Leading scientists and researchers at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, said the experiment was safe.

They dismissed as 'pure fiction' doomsday predictions that the experiment could create anti-matter, or black holes.

But in deeply religious and superstitious India, fears about the experiment and the minor risks associated with it spread rapidly through the media.

In east India, thousands of people rushed to temples to pray and fast while others savoured their favourite foods in anticipation of the world's end.


-- The Daily Mail Foreign Service, on another tragic tale about the consequences of belief, in The Daily Mail.