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Murga (also spelled murgha) is a stress position used as a corporal punishment in parts of South Asia (specifically Northern India, Pakistan and sometimes in Bangladesh). It is used primarily in educational institutions, and by the police as a summary, informal punishment for petty crimes committed by boys, such as eve teasing. The punishment is usually administered in public view, the purpose being to deter recurrence of the offence by shaming the offender and providing a salutary example to others.
The word murga means rooster in Hindi and Urdu language. The punished person takes a position resembling that of a rooster, by squatting and then looping the arms behind the knees and firmly holding the ears. Having to hold the ears makes it especially painful. It can become extremely painful after one minute. Usually given by female teachers in school as it not required any force by punisher. Over the years, corporal punishment has been banned in schools in India and Pakistan and although caning is still frequent, the Murga punishment is now used in private tuitions mostly.
There are many variants of the Murga punishment. Some of them are:
In this position, the recipient of the punishment is required to position the buttocks as high as possible while holding their ears from behind the legs as in the regular murga position. With the bottom having to be kept raised without any support, this is a bit similar to remaining sitting in the air without a chair. This is a very intense and severe punishment, as it requires constantly working against gravity to keep the bottom raised, and therefore becomes extremely painful within a matter of minutes. Almost every dull student born in 90's have faced this.
For an average person, muscle fatigue starts to set in within a couple of minutes of getting into the standing murgha position. Holding on even for a total of two or 3 minutes becomes very painful. As the punishment continues, it gets unbearable and legs start to tremble. It is nearly impossible to hold this position for 3 minutes or longer But whenever punished Lower their buttock couple of beating from wooden stick is applied on his back.
Regular, or sitting murga
This is the default murgha position, i.e. if you tell someone to assume the murgha position (without spelling out the exact variant), they go into the sitting position. In this position, the person is allowed to relax his/her bottom on the arms. The only requirement is to hold the ears by bringing the arms from behind the legs just as in standing murgha. Being able to rest the bottom on the arms makes this milder than standing murgha, and therefore, it can be done for much longer durations like 1 hours Nevertheless, it is still a very severe punishment. The lower legs and arms start hurting pretty soon. The arms hurt as they are squashed between the upper and lower part of the legs, and the lower legs because it's a very awkward position. (In contrast, standing murgha is easier on the arms as they are not squished, but it is much tougher on the legs including the thighs as one constantly has to work against gravity to keep the butt lifted. Sitting murgha does not hurt the thighs much).
As the duration gets longer, the tiredness starts to get more unbearable. At some point, one may feel compelled to raise one's bottom to get some relief. However, that only brings temporary relief as keeping the buttocks raised is painful (see standing murgha section), so one soon returns to the lower position. That again brings only temporary relief and one again feels like going back to the raised position. In this way, one can end up oscillating between the two positions, not getting much relief either way.
Combination of standing and regular/sitting Murga
Sometimes, sitting and standing murga are combined in order to make the punishment both long and severe. One such combination is to make the person stay in standing murga almost throughout, but allow them to rest their bottom in the regular murga position for half a minute or so from time to time. This makes it possible to increase the duration of the standing murga punishment.
Another combination is to start with standing murga for the first few minutes when the person is fresh, and then let them lower their bottom for a much longer sitting murga punishment, then have the last few minutes of the punishment in standing murga again in order to end on a tougher note. Yet another combination is to switch between sitting and standing murga once every few minutes and have atleast 10 such iterations.
In murgha parade, the person in addition to being in murga position, has to walk. It is almost impossible to walk in sitting murgha, so for all practical purpose it must be done in standing murgha. This can be extremely tiring for both legs, hands and back. Recall that standing murgha is very severe by itself. Add to it having to walk and it becomes really tough. It also hurts the ears because of irregular movements. For these reasons, an average person can only do this for a very short period, usually not more than a couple of minutes, and that too with a lot of difficulty and pain. In addition to this, the person has to make sounds like a rooster loudly and count the no of round completed.
A variation of this punishment is to make someone walk under the sun which causes long-term effect on punished.
In this kind of punishment, the person is asked to move his buttocks from the higher position (as in Standing Murga) to lower (as in Sitting Murga) and vice versa every 5–6 seconds.This is a very severe form; the legs start trembling after about 40 sways and becomes unbearable after 70-75 sways.
In this punishment, the person is made to carry another person on his back . A less intense variant is to put some weight (but not a whole person) on the back of the person in the murgha position.
- Srivastava, Arunima (June 29, 2006). "Public prosecution: Crime and instant punishment!". The Times of India.
- Sanchita Islam (14 June 2011). Gungi Blues. Chipmunkapublishing ltd. p. 127. ISBN 978-1-84747-259-5. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
- Madan Mohan Jha (1 September 2010). From Special To Inclusive Education In India: Case Studies Of Three Schools In Delhi. Pearson Education India. p. 51. ISBN 978-81-317-3217-5. Retrieved 27 November 2012.