Muslims in western India have been observing a bizarre ritual – they’ve been throwing their young children off a tall building to improve their health.
The faithful have been observing the ritual at a shrine in Solapur, in western India’s Maharastra, for more than five hundred years.
They believe it will make their children strong and say no accidents have ever happened.
The video accompanying the article suggests it is not a hoax, although I remain skeptical. But it does raise an obvious question. Is this a parental right similar to the claimed right to circumcise male – and only – male children? The child doesn’t need to be tossed from a building. There is an objectively identifiable, if hard to quantify, risk of injury, both minor and severe. There are benefits stated by parents that are subjectively identifiable, objectively unprovable for the child being tossed, and hardly guaranteed to be preferred by the child as an adult. Would he or she choose, as an adult, to be dropped from a building into a sheet below? (Note: The one child whose face we see closely in the video appears to be rather not enjoying the process.)
Compared to infant (male) circumcision, should baby dropping be treated ethically and legally different?