12-Year-Old Indian Boy With A Tail Growing On His Back Hailed As God

Gregory Wakeman

A 12-year-old boy from India who has been blighted with a "tail" on his back since his birth has been hailed as a God because of the growth.

Arshid Ali Khan's home as been turned into a make-shift temple because of his popularity, and now people from across the country travel to his abode and leave various gifts and presents for the young deity. These have included cash and presents, and, in return, he then provides them with a blessing.

Ali Khan, who is known as Balaji to his congregation, has grown in popularity because those who follow him believe that he is the reincarnation of the Hindu monkey God, Hanuman.

This Hindu deity was, according to the religion's legends, an ardent devotee of Rama, and was also a central protagonist in the Indian epic, Ramayana, which is an integral part of the Hindu literature and the cornerstone to their religion.

It is believed that Hanuman, who was thought to be a vanara, which according to Ramayana is a group of monkey-like humans, took part in Rama's war against a demon king known as Ravana, whilst other texts have stated that he is a reincarnation of Lord Shiva, whilst some devotees consider him the son of Vayu.

However, doctors have stated that Balaji actually suffers from meningocele, which is a form of spina bifida that sees the spinal cord develop in an abnormal and dangerous fashion.

Balaji refuses to believe this prognosis though, and the 12-year-old, who lives with his grandparents near Chandigarh, stated, "I love my tail. It's a gift from God. It's unusual but people respect me and bow before me because of it. I feel special."

Doctors are adamant though that if Balaji remains untreated and the growth isn't removed, his condition will only worsen and he could die of his injuries.

[Image via Popular Science Monthly Volume 40/Wikimedia]