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INDIA-TATTOOS/WIDERIMAGE
RTX21ZKA
January 12, 2016
Visually-impaired Kartik Ram Sadhu, 67, a follower of Ramnami Samaj, and who has tattooed the name of...
ARJUNI, India
The Wider Image: Tattoos, faith and caste in India
Visually-impaired Kartik Ram Sadhu, 67, a follower of Ramnami Samaj, and who has tattooed the name of the Hindu god Ram on his body, bathes in a pond in the village of Arjuni, in the eastern state of Chhattisgarh, India, November 15, 2015. Denied entry to temples and forced to use separate wells, low-caste Hindus in the eastern state of Chhattisgarh first tattooed their bodies and faces more than 100 years ago as an act of defiance and devotion. Ramnamis wrote the Hindu god Ram's name on their bodies as a message to higher-caste Indians that god was everywhere, regardless of a person's caste or social standing. While discrimination on class grounds has lessened and most young Ramnamis today avoid full-body tattoos, elderly devotees are still proud of the indelible message their bodies have carried for decades. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi TPX IMAGES OF THE DAYPICTURE 5 OF 31 - SEARCH "RAMNAMI" FOR ALL IMAGES
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