With all the stories in the media of crime and burglary in the West, it’s refreshing to read about one Indian village which has no doors, as there is zero crime there due to superstitious beliefs held by the villagers that stealing is wrong.
The village, called Shani Shingnapur, has roughly 300 people living in it, and there are no doors on homes, educational institutions, or even banks. At the same time, cash is reportedly stored in unlocked containers, as are valuable pieces of gold jewelry.
And the lack of doors doesn’t stop there, as even public toilets in Shani Shingnapur village square have no doors.
Parmeshwar Mane, a shopkeeper from the village, said, “For reasons of privacy and following requests by women, we recently agreed to put a thin curtain near the entrance, but not doors because that would go against our belief.”
A far cry from the streets of “first-world” Miami or London, one must say.
According to the India Times, some villagers do put up loose door panels against their door frames, but this is done only at night to keep out wild animals and stray dogs.
On top of that, another daily problem with the lack of doors is that there’s nothing to knock on to announce your arrival, although the villagers have a solution for this, too.
“Just shout out and somebody will come to the door,” one of the villagers, Rani, explained.
The people in the village have strong beliefs, to say the least, and frankly the type of moral beliefs one would hope religions and cultures would espouse are very present there.
It all comes down to the locals’ belief in a deity called Shani, the God of Saturn. Legend has it that centuries ago, an iron and stone slab washed up on to the shore of a nearby river during a flood. When cattle herders poked the curious slab with a stick, it began oozing blood.
According to the legend, later that night, the god, Shani appeared in the dream of the village leader and revealed that the slab was his own idol.
The village leader told the villagers that the idol was so powerful that it did not need to be placed under shelter. He also said that the villagers never needed to install doors again, because he would always protect them from any kind of danger.
A mill worker from Shani Shingnapur, Balasaheb Borude, told reporters, “The power of Shani is such that if someone steals, he will keep walking all night and think he has left the village, but when the sun comes up he will still be there.”