Isnt this a form of fundamentalism, like the "cilice belt" cult?
I wonder why nobody criticizes the practice of Christians in Philippines crucifying themselves on Good Friday. Rather than criticizing other faiths, they better set their own house in order first. Note that such countries where these practices are prevelant are poor and converted by force much recently.
And hypocritically enough, they would find faults with practices of Hindus, which are not even common among over 10% of the Hindu population, and more importantly, they are not sanctioned by Hinduism at all (eg. "suttee"). Attributing cultural phenomenon as a religious practice is a very subtle trick, which is not noticeable easily, given the limited knowledge of Hinduism amongst the "so-called intellectuals".
The media, as usual, does not raise much hue and cry about Christists crucifying themselves(or mohemadans lashing themselves, for that matter), wondering whether they are being secular enough?