HC Deb 07 June 1894 vol 25 c586

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India if he has seen a Reuter's telegram, dated Simla, 5th June, published in the London papers of yesterday, to the effect that in the opinion of the Government of India the microscopic tests which have been applied to the mud daubed on the mango trees in North Behar prove that in 90 per cent, of the cases the smearing is due to pigs rubbing themselves against the trees; and has the India Office received any information confirming this statement?


I have seen the telegram to which my hon. Friend refers. I have also received from the Government of India information to the effect that the larger part of the marks are due to animals, though some are certainly done by human agency. The intentional marking appears to have originated early this year in Nepal, and to have spread thence into Behar, being probably intended as advertisement to draw pilgrims to a shrine in Nepal. It is thought that when attention had been called to the matter, some mischievously-disposed persons, finding marks taken seriously, have continued work in certain districts. But it is considered that there is not sufficient evidence to connect the marking with any movement among the natives, nor any substantial reason to suppose that it has any political significance.