‘Braid-Chopping’ Cases Born Out of Mass Hysteria: Psychiatrists
A series of bizarre incidents, where women’s braids are mysteriously being cut off, have been reported from several parts of north India over the last few weeks.
“I was sleeping, I got up at 3 am to go to the washroom. When I came back, I saw my hair on the bed. I woke my husband up and told him about what had happened. I was afraid. I asked him to check on the girls as well. Their hair had also been cut. Two of my daughters had their hair open and their hair was cut. My younger daughter had a ponytail which was also cut,” said a woman from Delhi’s Mayapuri area, one of the several women who have made similar claims.
Psychiatrists, however, believe these incidents are born out of mass hysteria. “There is nothing like black magic or a mysterious man coming and chopping braids. It's mass hysteria, a kind of hysteria when a person gets into an altered state which brings out varied responses. And with anxiety, they start believing what they have read around them. It could be out of guilt, or fear or simply neurosis. This is where the patient does things to themselves without any physiological reason. It's their way of becoming important, something different, or grabbing the limelight or doing it just for thrill,” Dr Madhumati Singh told The Quint.
The bizarre incidents, however, have left the villagers in panic mode. The police, on its part, has begun investigation in a few cases .
Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam
(We all love to express ourselves, but how often do we do it in our mother tongue?Here's your chance! This Independence Day, khul ke bol with BOL – Love your Bhasha. Sing, write, perform, spew poetry – whatever you like – in your mother tongue. Send us your BOL at email@example.com or WhatsApp it to 9910181818.)
(Hi there! We will be continuing our news service on WhatsApp. Meanwhile, stay tuned to our Telegram channel here.)