Medieval Trials in Modern Day India

Just when you thought India was turning the corner and on its way to a technologically advanced, first world country, a story like this surfaces.

Apparently thieves broke into a local school in the village of Ranpur (Rajasthan) and stole some rice and wheat. In order to find out who did it, a council of elders initiated an ancient “medieval diktat” in which 150 men were asked to reach into a boiling cauldron of oil with their bare hands and pull out a copper ring. Those who refused to do so were charged with the crime.

Man, I love witnessing ancient customs while traveling, but this simply goes too far. If having a Starbucks on every corner means no more trial-by-oil ordeals, perhaps globalization isn’t such a bad thing after all.