In a bid to “purify” their party leader, political activists publicly bathed the Labor Minister of the Indian state of Maharashtra with milk.
After the incident – which apparently caused a lot of embarrassment for the Indian public – Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Hasan Mushrif apologized for his workers’ behavior and clarified that he wasn’t aware of their intentions beforehand.
The following video is the moment when Mushrif was given the controversial “milk bath”:
On Thursday, a man identified as Namdeo Dongardive, threw black ink at Mushrif at a conference in Buldhana district. He was immediately caught by the NCP activists and got arrested by local police.
The next day, when the minister arrived in the city of Kolhapur to address a party meeting, several workers surrounded Mushrif and poured milk in cans and steel tumblers to “cleanse” him of the ink episode. Some even burnt an effigy of Dongardive, according to media reports.
Although superstitious beliefs are commonplace in India, this is one of the rarest public displays of blind faith, involving a prominent labor minister for that matter. Also, Kolhapur –where the incident occurred – is ironically the first city in India to pass a legislation to ban superstition and related fallacious beliefs.
Here are a few reactions to the “milk bath” from Twitter:
Shame on NCP for bathing it's minister in milk to 'cleanse' him. That too when anti superstition law is passed in Maharashtra.— Ashutosh Kulkarni (@PrachinVaani) December 29, 2013
Ashamed to have such leaders, height of shamelessness!! Maharashtra Labour Minister & NCP leader Hasan Mushrif... http://t.co/AIlbmQRfEO— Bhaskar Jha (@bhaskarjha178) December 29, 2013
Labour minister Hasan Mushrif took "milk bath" and later apologised. Lesson Learnt: DO WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU WANT AND SAY SORRY AFTERWARDS— Wills the Dopey (@NanguPanguu) December 29, 2013
@NCPspeaks Maharashtra Ministers purification milk bath a shame& gross insult of the poor/starving children of Mumbai. Will u take action?— Abdul Hameed (@AbdulOHameed) December 29, 2013
In his defense, Mushrif said that he absolutely had no idea what was going to happen next when his co-workers asked him to sit on the chair before the Kolhapur meeting.
“I apologise for what my followers have done. I was not aware and did not realise what they are doing. Otherwise, I would have stopped them. I was baffled both the times, when they poured milk on me and when the party worker poured ink on me," Hasan Mushrif told the Indian press.
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