A disturbing story from India that reflects the extreme harm caused by belief in superstition.
Anand V H was all of 23, and an engineering graduate to boot. But he was superstitious too — so superstitious that he ended his life on Thursday, all because a crow perched itself on his head — twice — the previous day.
Preliminary investigations revealed that Anand got very upset after a crow sat on his head on Wednesday. He immediately called up his mother and narrated the entire incident to her, expressing fears that it augured ill — a belief among a section of Hindus. His mother tried to allay his fears and told him to visit the Hanumantharaya Swamy temple and light a lamp. Anand, however, was not convinced and went home and locked himself up before taking the drastic step.
“My brother had called my mother, Parvathi, and told her about the crow. He was very tense when he spoke. My mother rushed to an astrologer and on his advice told Anand to pray at the Hanumantharaya Swamy temple,” V H Hampanna, elder brother of the victim, told Bangalore Mirror.
Colleagues told the police a visibly disturbed Anand had narrated the incident to them on reaching office on Wednesday morning. He had told them the first time the crow perched itself on his head, he took to his heels. But he had a second brush with the persistent crow, following which he again fled the spot.
Hampanna, however, said they were awaiting the post-mortem report as no poison bottle was found in the house. “I am waiting for the post-mortem report, but even I think he took the extreme step due to the crow incident.”
The young man took this superstition too seriously for his own good. In the article, another astrologer notes that the interpretation of this event is mistaken. The crow was a warning. He should have sought help. It was not a symbol of doom.
Is this the way curses work? A person who believes they work will actually suffer from them? This is a clear case of harm caused by warped beliefs. One could say this is a mental disorder.
See Whatstheharm.net for more on such beliefs.
Tip: DJ Grothe via Twitter