INDIA: The Sacrifice

Kali, the Dark Mother, wife of Siva in the Hindu pantheon, is black and terrible. Death and destruction are her province; her eyes and the palms of her four hands are red, her tongue protrudes, corpses are her earrings and around her neck is a string of skulls. In times gone by, Kali was occasionally offered human sacrifices; in modern India she must make do with the blood of goats. But not always.

Last week in Ghaziabad (pop. 50,000), near Delhi, dark Kali reasserted herself through a dirt-poor street sweeper. Hari Singh came home one day to find that his...

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