Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Thag of Kali


The book of Monica, entitled The Stranglers of Kali. The cult Thag between fictional and historical reality, take a long bibliographic research, enriched by historical re-enactments and interviews with various experts that Monica has experienced along the way, some of them quite unusual. Since his debut in the literature, the topic of Thag has lent almost entirely in fantastic tales, steeped in mystery and adventure, missing almost a necessary journey between bibliographic and historical notes less.


Would immediately wonder if the thug, as the worshipers and followers of the goddess Kali, as they themselves have always painted, or cruel murderers, as the British have left written, really existed, or if all that their is said to have a real historical value. Telling the story of the phenomenon and analyze the most salient features, see the real spread in the territory of India, are the main objectives of this essay. As the noose tightens His Majesty on the riches of the country, forcing millions of people to the colonial yoke, in the dense jungles of spreading the movement of thagi.

A hidden phenomenon and violent, in which there is a strong influence of tantric ritual, indissolubly linked to the devotion to the goddess Kali. Among the Thag militate low-caste Hindus and Muslims, motivated by irreducible religious fanaticism that motivates them to choose their victims in complex lists, and then snatch them and rob them before immolar altar of sacrifice, with a lace fabric tight around his neck. The atrocious deeds of the stranglers of Kali, in short, have fueled myths, created legends, and echoed throughout India, up to shake the fragile morale of the British conquerors, ready to crush the umpteenth barbarism, giving way to an extermination systematic.

The distinguishing feature that has made ​​the author, and made ​​loved by his audience, was ability narrative fundamentally based on imagination to places which, of course, he wanted to see in person, but not where never went. In addition to an extraordinary fantasy that was own and won the Western audience, it felt a genuine affection, full of wonder and interest in distant peoples ever seen, but that's why they were invested even more of an extraordinary charm and fearless courage.

Thag were called children of the Goddess, and, as such, they were invested with the power of the holy terror that she inspires. The devotional element in the worship of the Goddess as well as the social structure of their community Thag meet within other marginalized communities in relation to Indian religion, especially of tribal origin, whose activities result in various forms of violent manifestations of murder and banditry. In such a historical context, the author attempts to structure a topic too often romanticized in the name of a careful and meticulous work on historical sources available.

In this context is the search for Monica, with scientific rigor, has been able to loosen the coils of the nineteenth-century literature, revealing the importance of the social thagi, and re-applying to the movement the right historical value. Page after page outlines the salient features of an ancient ritual, away from Western models and therefore feared, resisted, fought in an irreconcilable clash of cultures, then as now very timely.

The author analyzes in great detail the social contexts and historical transformations, setting them within the different historiographical approaches, against drifting timeless fondles a India eternal, always equal to itself. The work also stands as the first serious work and documented in the history of the movement Thag.

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