Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Friday was spotted getting whipped in a crowd as part of a ritual of the Govardhan Puja in the city of Durg.
In the video, the CM is seen standing with one arm stretched as a man whips him. The crowd is seen cheering and taking videos with the CM as they witness the ritual. After eight rounds of whipping, the man who was whipping finally stops and hugs the chief minister.
As per the tradition, on Govardhan puja that is celebrated on the next day of Diwali, a person is beaten up with the whip with full force on his hands as people believe that the practice helps in getting rid of the problems and bringing good luck.
"Like every year, CM Baghel on Friday took part in Govardhan puja in Janjgiri village and bore the pain of sonta (whip) to uphold the custom that has been going on in the state for years for the well-being and prosperity of the people," a state public relations officer said.
On the occasion, the chief minister highlighted the significance of Govardhan puja, during which cows are worshipped and said the festival signifies our gratitude towards govansh (cow progeny).
It is the duty of everyone to preserve the identity of our soil and promote it, he added.
Earlier, village elderly Bharosa Thakur used to conduct the sonta tradition and hit people with a whip as per their wish in Janjgiri and after his death, his son Birendra Thakur has been carrying forward his legacy, the officials said.
(with PTI inputs)