If you think the term ‘thugs’ is a relatively new way of referencing someone who bullies people and engages in unsavory activities, think again. The term dates back hundreds of years in the country of India. In this article, you will learn about its origin, as well as other facts and trivia concerning crime and criminals throughout the centuries.
A Long-Lasting Terror in India
In India, a secret religious sect called the Thugs ritually murdered about 12 million people over a time period of 500 years. Their reign of terror began in the 13th century when they traveled all over India in groups that took advantage of travelers. If you were unlucky enough to cross their path, the Thugs would strange and rob you. The Thugs were passionate about worshipped the Hindu goddess of destruction ”“ Kali. The Thugs were active until around the 1830s. This is around the same time that the occupying British made sure the cruel sect was put to an end.
A Reasonable Request
When the Summer Olympics came to town in Rome in 1960, it is said that the Roman Olympic Organization Committee made a deal with what is known as the Association of Roman Thieves in hopes to curb the number of street thefts during the Olympics. While the Games were being held, incidents regarding snatched purses, pickpockets, and hold-ups had drastically decreased.
A Master Counterfeiter
Can you imagine a counterfeit bill so perfect that it put the original prints to shame? This is what happened in 1865 when William E. Brockway printed a rather impressive counterfeit $100 bill. It was so well done that the Department of Treasury was forced to withdraw all authentic $100 bills from circulation.
An Undying Tradition
In 1961, the tradition of demanding a dowry as a provision of marriage in India was made illegal. However, it was reported in 1987 that at least 1,786 Indian brides were killed by their husbands or their husbands’ families because they did not come with substantial enough dowries.
A Tough Profession
If you were an architect during ancient Babylonian days, you truly had to stand by your work with your life. If you were responsible for constructing a poorly built residence that collapsed on the owner and killed them, you were executed. If the owner’s son died in the incident, then your son was sentenced to death. However, if the wife or daughter of the homeowner was killed, the architect only received a fine.
Life Imitating Art
In 1838, Edgar Allan Poe penned a short story titled, “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket,” which told the tale of three shipwreck survivors in an open boat that kill and eat the fourth ”“ a man named Richard Parker. His story was not based on real life, but in 1884, three men were shipwrecked in an open boat and killed the fourth survivor ”“ a man who was coincidentally named Richard Parker.