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Two men were killed in India during the Makar Sankranti festival by knife-wielding cocks. The men were killed in two different cockfights.

Cockfighting is the bloodsport that typically pits two roosters in a ring to fight it out. Some individuals breed roosters specifically for fighting. They try to breed cocks that are large, ferocious, and muscular. To make the practice even more savage blades may be tied to the bird’s spurs.

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In each incident, a rooster slashed the victim so deeply that they bled out. In one case the owner of the rooster was attacked before the fight when the animal was scared by the crowd. The bird slashed the man’s leg. The second attack occurred during a fight. In this case, a bystander was too close to the action and his hand was deeply gashed.

Cockfighting is officially banned in India. However, enforcing the law can be difficult during the religious festivities.

Makar Sankranti is an agricultural as well as a religious festival. It celebrates the days getting longer and is dedicated to the god Surya. A small number of people worship Surya as the supreme deity, but most Hindus acknowledge the deity as an important figure in the pantheon.

Hindus may wash in the Ganges River to celbrate Makar Sankranti. And that is dangerous because the waterway is one of the most polluted rivers in the world.

Many believers seek to have their ashes sprinkled in the river. Thousands of bodies are burned here. Many, however, are not fully cremated.

These practices stress the river, but they are only a small part of what it endures. By far, the most toxic pollution of this river is probably the least visible, unless you happen upon drainage canals like this one, which discharge millions every day of gallons of raw, untreated sewage.

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Cockfighting was popular in some areas of the United States and was legal until relatively recently. Louisiana was the last US state to outlaw the practice in 2019.

Passage of the law banning gambling at cockfights as well as the harsher federal penalties began shuttering the cockfighting pits last year to where “about five or six” of the arenas remain, Daughdrill said. Some of the pits that have already closed include the Atchafalaya Game Club in Cecilia and the Sunset Recreation Club in the St. Landry Parish town of Sunset, one of the best known in the country, Daughdrill said.Louisiana’s ban on cockfighting takes effect Friday

Hopefully, the cockfighting deaths will deter people from engaging in the bloodport and lead to greater enforcement of the law.


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Want to learn more about Hinduism? Check out Hinduism for Dummies (Amazon link).

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Andrew Hall escaped a childhood of religious indoctrination and is now a non-miserable human being. He's made millions of people laugh as well as angry. (He hopes he's made the right people annoyed.) Targets...