Raja, accidently dropped his 6-year old son on burning coal while performing a Hindu ritual in Jalandhar on Sunday evening.
Around 600 people gathered at Qazi Mandi in Jalandhar to worship the deity Ma Maariamma during the festival. According to the custom, pilgrims honor the goddess by fasting for 7 days and then walk on burning coal to honor her.
Walking on coal would literally be done barefoot, without any protection at the risk of completely burning your feet. The belief is that you will be able to withstand the pain if your faith is strong and true.
When Raja lost balance whilst walking on the burning coal, he dropped Karthik who has suffered 20% burns, while his father suffered 25% burns himself.
Reports suggest that when Karthik fell to the ground, his family refused to help him under the pretext that their faith in God would help him instead. Onlookers helped both father and son get off the coal.
Karthik suffered burns on one side of his torso as well as on his legs. He was admitted into the emergency ward of a hospital to receive immediate care. Both father and son are expected to heal over the next weeks’ time.
According to Local BJP MLA Manoranjan Kalia, the two have been sent to Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences to be treated for their injuries. He added that he had provided them with an aid of Rs. 10,000 to seek proper medical care.
This is not the first such incident that has happened at the same Ma Maariamma festival in Jalandhar. About 3 years ago, a mother and her daughter faced a similar fate where the daughter slipped out of the mother’s arms and fell onto the burning coal.
The question is: why exactly would God ask you to walk on fire if he/she knows you will pray to them to be healed?