Pious Indian town gets a bank with no door-locks

India's UCO bank has opened a lockless branch in Shani Shinganapur in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, a town known for its piety and with a reputation for being crime-free:
The legislator said bank officials carefully studied households in the township before starting the branch. "All houses here have no doors. We are following a more or less similar practice. Our branch has doors, but they will never be locked. Adequate precautions are being taken for the safety of lockers and important documents," he said, adding that in months to come, the branch is planning to start an ATM near the temple.

Gadakh explained that, by and large, it is believed that because of Lord Shani's power, the village has not witnessed a single theft or robbery in the recent past. "People here fear that if there is a theft or robbery, then the culprit and their family have to bear the wrath of Lord Shani," he said.

God as guard: Bank opens 'lockless' branch (via Derren Brown)

(Image: Shani.jpg, Pierre Sonnerat/Wikimedia Commons)

18

  1. If it’s true, publicising it seems like a bad move. What’s stopping non-Shani-fearing people from other regions from paying the bank a little ‘visit’?

    1. What’s stopping non-Shani-fearing people from other regions from paying the bank a little ‘visit’?
      I’d guess that they probably have real security on the valuable stuff. Most banks move money around via bits anyway, so there’s really nothing to steal.

      That leaves just the furniture, and bank equipment, so really it seems like a good policy.

  2. “Adequate precautions are being taken for the safety of lockers and important documents.”

    So, really, we’re talking about a bank with a 24-hour lobby. Lord Shani helps those who help themselves…

  3. When this bank gets robbed the internet will be laughing at them!

    That’s not because it’s Indian, but because it’s the obvious outcome of what happens when people are convinced that religious people are inherently good. They get a rude awakening when they discover that all people run the spectrum from good to evil regardless of whether they wear a badge of religiosity or not.

    In fact, the more exuberantly they show off their badge, the less I trust ’em!

  4. There’s actually a bank like this in my hometown of Innsmouth. A couple of guys opened up the unlocked vault back in 86 but no one ever saw them again.

  5. If it’s true, publicising it seems like a bad move. What’s stopping non-Shani-fearing people from other regions from paying the bank a little ‘visit’?

    You may not believe in ghosts, but if you were placed alone in the basement of an abandoned house at night with no light while a storm raged outside… you may find your conviction start to wane.

    Don’t underestimate the power of circumstance.

    1. This is the logic I relied upon when picking a smoking spot no one else in my house would discover: the walk-in closet in the back of the attic that everyone insists someone was murdered in. Never had any problems, and no one ever bothered me when I was blazing. Superstition is a powerful thing.

    2. I’ve been in similar circumstances – sleeping rough in some woods reputed to be haunted which my friends called me crazy for doing – and had a perfectly restful night, and I’m not particularly brave by any measure. I’d be even less worried about being struck down by some deity I’ve never heard of, and I suspect there are plenty of thieves out there who feel the same way.

  6. Long ago, I received some life changing advice and $20 (equivalent) during a stay in Shani Shinganapur…

    1. Long ago, I received some life changing advice and $20 (equivalent) during a stay in Shani Shinganapur…
      Dude gave you a bag and said: “You should smoke this frequently.”
      Or: “Here are some condoms, you should always use them.”
      Or: “I’ll give you this train ticket, now you better get the hell out of town!”

  7. I’ve been to that city. The interesting part is that Shani is the Sanskrit word for Saturn. Just like the Romans worshiped the planetary deities, the Hindus still do. Saturn, as a deity, is the Lord of karmic retribution, punishments, etc., which is why pious Hindus are afraid to commit crime in the city.

  8. When my family visited Burma ten years ago, we were struck by the fact that despite the abject poverty of Burma, the temples and shrines all had unlocked donation boxes filled with cash.

    Piety (or superstition, depending on your perspective) can be a powerful thing.

  9. Like anon says Shani is the Hindu equivalent of Saturn and brings terrible bad luck for believers. And the misfortune lasts 7.5 yrs too. A good crime deterrent.
    According to astrology,when your birth star enters the house of Shani there will be 7.5 yrs of hardships. But also nearing the end of that time period, the rule is that there will be an acquisition of money, house or some other valuable thing.

    As a Hindu, this is news to me that such a town exists in India because usually vengeful Gods are generally not worshipped in temples. The planet Gods (NavaGrihas, nine houses) are usually kept a little distant from the sanctum sanctorum, in outdoor open shrines under the banyan tree.

Comments are closed.