Pity Lal Bihari: In 1976 the Indian farmer applied for a bank loan and learned he was dead. His uncle had arranged it in order to get control of his land.
This is fairly common in the crowded northern state of Uttar Pradesh, and it creates an odd predicament: If you complain too much about being dead, your enemies might kill you for real.
The struggle led Bihari to make some strangely existential demonstrations. He added the word “dead” to his name, signed his letters as the “late” Lal Bihari, organized his own funeral, and demanded a widow’s compensation for his wife.
Finally he was recalled to life in 1994, after 18 years in the grave. But the “association of the dead” that he founded has now grown to 20,000 members.