Force feeding ritual in Ganiga and Dasappa society

Posted by dinesh maneer

Not very far from Bangalore happens a weird celebration just after Ugadi festival where few people from one community force feed the prasada ( ಪ್ರಸಾದ )  to other community people. It may look bit horrifying and weird but all is well in the end of the ritual.
The Shree Ramachandreshwara temple of Ramohalli  hosts an annual fair couple of days after Ugadi , the Hindu new year day. the fair starts with usual procession of the gods , folk dances before the God’s chariot is pulled in the streets. A prasada  prepared using Jack fruit, bananas and milk by Ganiga people . After the chariot is brought to main street of Ramohalli prasada is distributed to gathered people. Everyone looks for a safer place to sit as they know what is next.
All of sudden few  people from Ganiga community start shouting ” Holiya holiya ” ( ಹೋಲಿಯ ) who hold the prasada in one hand and start holding the few selected people from Dasappa community in the other hand and start feeding them. The Dasappas act as if they want more prasada and get fed by the Ganigas. They eat and escape from the hold but seek more prasad Sometime they wrestle to get hold of each other and suddenly everything seems like a fist fight. People watch with great fun and excitement while kids get scared. Finally it ends by over powering one dasappa and bringing him to Chariot for a holy water bath. Though they act angry and ferocious  but everything happens with great devotion and understanding . Origin of the ritual is debated but they say it is under observance from past five generations .

We dont know how it started but we have been doing this from last five generations which I can confirm

-Hanumantayya , an elder of Ganiga People

Ganiga’s are the oilman people who extracted oils . Dasappa are the farmer community . The communities are formed on the basis of their profession in earlier days.  Today no more profession based communities are formed  though community based discrimination still exist and one of the  social  plague of India .

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