Print Edition - 2017-09-17  |  Free the Words

Curse of the Jackal


Sep 17, 2017-

In the last two weeks, my team at People for Animals has been examining all the religious sites on the Net to see what kind of nonsense is being put on in the name of Hinduism. Ever since I learnt about the Hathajodi “magic talisman”, which is just the penis of the giant monitor lizard, being sold by sites that claim it brings health, wealth and attraction, we have been looking for more rubbish being sold.

Siyar Singhi is supposedly the horn of a jackal. For one thing, the jackal is protected in India from killing by the Wildlife Protection Act 1972. For another, the jackal does not have a horn. The sites selling this agree that it “normally” does not have a horn. But when it “hoots” (they probably mean howls) with its head facing downwards (a technical impossibility) then suddenly a horn emerges from its forehead. If the jackal is killed and the horn is taken with a tuft of hair on it, the hair will keep growing forever and in different colours as long as it is kept in vermillion powder. It supposedly keeps away evil spirits—if you do regular havans round it for which, of course, you have to get havan priests and spend a lot more. Otherwise it doesn’t work (of course, then it is your fault).

Interfaith baselessness

This nonsense about the Siyar Singhi doesn’t just extend to Hindus. It seems to be all pervasive in Muslims and Buddhists as well. In Sri Lanka some illiterates use it (it’s called narric—combo) as an amulet to win in gambling. The Tharu tribes of Nepal and India believe it will grant the men the ability to see in the dark and seduce women. In Bengal it is placed in safes (as is the hathjodi) to increase wealth. However, since this can only be done if a puja is done before the safe, thugs that pass off as priests usually take the opportunity to rob it later. Some sites have gone even further and said that the Bible has written that the jackal is the mother of the Devil and so keeping the horn of the mother will ensure that the devil stays away.

The Golden Jackal had 13 subspecies. It is now down to seven. It is a small dog-like animal that eats fruit, insects, small reptiles, birds and small rodents. The family lives together in small groups of parents and children. They are portrayed in the Jatakas and Panchatantra as intelligent creatures and to hear a jackal howl was a sign of good luck. The Jackal is associated with the goddesses Kali, Chamunda. The jackal is eaten by Koli and Vaghir tribes of Gujarat and Rajasthan and by the Narikaruravas in Tamil Nadu who eat anything from rats and squirrels to stolen pet dogs and cats from Chennai’s houses. 

But the real reason for the decline is this mumbo jumbo rubbish of people wanting an imaginary bone in its head to bring them luck. According to these sites, which are now on the radar of the police and will be shut down and the owners arrested, this bone of a scavenger considered unclean by most of the shastras will now bring wealth, win law cases, help you get on with your married partner, restore health, acquire property, remove depression. If “activated” (this means a set of expensive poojas running into lakhs) it will cure autism, mental diseases, Panic Disorders, Attention-deficit or hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Eating disorders, Schizophrenia, Substance abuse etc.

Expensive rituals

You, of course, have to recite mantras that vary from site to site—and religion to religion. None of the verses online make any sense in Sanskrit but, depending on the site, you have to say such nonsense words ranging from 21 to 108 times. And even then it won’t work unless a crystal mala is bought from the same site and “charged” regularly—which costs even more money. The Muslims are told that Allah has put a special power inside it. And buying just one is not good enough. You have to getboth male and female horns. According to them the horn is collected only on the waning moon on a particular nakshatra which is only known to the “masters”. You must put the Siyar Singhi in your hand and say “I own you... my name is so and so... you have to obey me” and then put this in a silver box along with 3 cloves and 2 cardamoms. You can use this item to cause extreme pain and even death to your enemies.

In order to make it even more expensive, the sites have gone into incredible detail: The jackal is not any jackal, but a rare species called Motiya. And not any Motiya either. It has to be the leader of the pack. And how will you know that he is the leader and carries the horn? Because, “he dies after he hears a regular outburst of strange voices”. He cannot be old, as the Singhi disappears from his head, so he has to be a young leader of a pack—which is even rarer. How does one make out that the horn is real? Put the Singhi in mercury (the kind you get in old thermometers). The horn will eat it up!

If that wasn’t bad enough, one type of Siyar Singhi, called Linga Siyar Singhi which comes from the jackal penis, is now being pushed as a sacred object. I suppose this is easier to verify than an imaginary horn.

Every site claims that every other site and shop selling this Siyar Singhi is selling fakes taken from dogs and pigs and stuck onto bones with glue. In the 21st century if you believe that a bone and a hank of hair can get you what you can’t get through work, prayer, education and ambition, then go ahead and make these fake site owners rich!

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Published: 17-09-2017 10:15

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