To begin with, it must be appreciated that the ruling Congress Government in poll bound Karnataka has finally on November 16, 2017 got the controversial “Anti-Superstition Bill” passed unanimously in the ongoing winter session of the Karnataka State Assembly to eradicate evil practices with some minor amendments. It is largely based on the Maharashtra model. The much-delayed, much-hyped and hotly debated “Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill, 2017” which is popularly known as the “Anti-Superstition Bill has finally been passed by the State Assembly by a voice vote.
It also gives me immense satisfaction to note that not everything is banned under this Anti-Superstition Bill. Any form of worship including pradakshine, yatra, parikrama at any religious shrines, harikatha, keerthana, pravachana, bhajans do not come under the purview of the Bill. It is also noteworthy that providing knowledge of ancient arts and practices, speaking about miracles performed by deceased saints and literature on them offering prayers, upasana, religious rituals at places of worship or at people’s homes, religious celebrations, festivals, processions, piercing of ears and nose, shaving of head, astrology and vaastu are considered acceptable under the Bill.
What is wrong in outlawing such not just irrational practices but also dangerous and harmful practices by which those practicing it are harming themselves the most as also their very own children whom they profess to love the most yet foolishly indulge in such bizarre practices which should have no place in any civilized society under any circumstances whatsoever as they are completely inhuman and most exploitative carried out by those who exploit innocent and illiterate people for their own petty vested interests? In other words, no time should be wasted by all states in emulating Karnataka’s worthy Anti-Superstition Bill so that millions of innocent people are saved from being duped, harmed and exploited in the worst possible manner! The earlier this is done, the better it shall be in the supreme interests of millions of ordinary people in the longer term who are very easily fooled by those running business in the name of superstition who must be jailed and penalized heavily so that it acts as a “potential deterrent” to refrain from indulging in such abhorrent practices!
On a concluding note, Karnataka State Government certainly deserves all the applauds and appreciation for having dared to bring in such a commendable Anti-Superstition Bill at the risk of antagonizing many illiterate voters who believe blindly in all such superstitions but this alone is not enough. All States must emulate it and further make more improvements wherever possible! It must be followed by many awareness campaigns so that people are educated properly on this score. Unless this is done on a war footing and on a mammoth scale just a tough law alone won’t act as a potential deterrent and people will continue to be fooled by those “spineless crooks” who believe in running their own shops at the expense of ordinary people!
Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,
s/o Col BPS Sirohi,
A 82, Defence Enclave,
Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera,
Meerut – 250001, Uttar Pradesh.