Comparative Study

| Published: November 20, 2018

Braid Chopping a Mass Psychogenic Illness in Gujarat: A Qualitative Study

M. A. Tripathi

Assistant Professor (Psy), Department of Forensic Sciences, Raksha Shakti University, Ahmedabad, India Google Scholar More about the auther

, Vikas Sahay

IPS, Director General, Raksha Shakti University, Ahmedabad, India Google Scholar More about the auther

, Pirojiya, P. P

DySP, Crime Investigation Department (CID), Gujarat Police, Gandhinagar, India Google Scholar More about the auther

DIP: 18.01.049/20180604

DOI: 10.25215/0604.049


Some mysterious events occur nearly every year in India and several people become victims of such events. It is noticed that this type of events affect particular segments of population which have shared common beliefs. This type of phenomenon transmits collective illusions of threats, either real or imaginary, through a segment of population in a society as a result of rumors and fear. This phenomenon is therefore called Mass Psychogenic Illness (MPI) and has been reported since hundreds of years in different socio-cultural settings. MPI is neither spatially nor temporally confined and can strike anywhere and anytime. One such phenomenon that has characteristics similar to MPI is braid chopping. The braid chopping or hair cutting incidents occurred in different parts of India in the month of July –August 2017. A study was conduct to comprehensively analyze the causal factors of this particular MPI phenomenon. Case study method of research was adopted for this study and 9 cases were studied by using unstructured interview method. These 9 cases were reported in different region of Gujarat. Only police reported cases were studied as investigative team was formed by the Crime Investigation Department, (CID) Gujarat, to reach the bottom of the epidemic and control it as soon as possible. The findings indicate that all the victims shared some common characteristics in terms of gender, level of education, socio economic condition, mental set up, kind of illness during the time of incident, level of stress, satisfaction level with present living conditions, past history, etc.

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ISSN 2348-5396

ISSN 2349-3429



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Published in   Volume 06, Issue 4, October-December, 2018