India | An unusual wedding took place this morning in Delhi, as a Hindu man married a female rat which he claims is a reincarnation of his first wife.
41-year old Chidhatma Basu lost his wife in a car accident in January 2017. The father of four young girls says he was completely devastated for months, until one day, he made an unusual encounter.
“This little female rat showed up on my doorstep, and it had my wife’s eyes and nose.”
Mr. Basu says he rapidly understood that the rodent was the reincarnation of his deceased wife.
“I offered it my wife’s favorite cookies, and it devoured it just like she would have done.”
He claims the animal was immediately affectionate, and even looked at him the same way that his wife did. Mr. Basu consulted temple officials about the mysterious animal and was assured that the rat was, indeed, his reincarnated wife.
While Hindus believe that it is possible for a human being to be reincarnated in animal form, weddings between humans and animals are extremely rare. This unusual ceremony ended up being very controversial and caused a lot of reactions in India.
Many Hindu commentators defended Mr. Basu’s religious rights and saluted his “good karma”, while others criticized the ceremony, saying it gave India a negative image as a “backward country filled with zoophiles”.
Some American and European organizations implicated in the defense of animal rights have also condemned the wedding.
In a tweet published a few hours after the ceremony, PETA called the ceremony “disgusting and barbaric” and called for Mr. Basu to be jailed.
Despite these critics, the wedding was entirely legal under Indian law, so Mr. Basu and his new “wife” aren’t likely to be bothered.