India is a diverse country with weird rituals and superstitions at every nook and corner. Similarly, in the Banaganapalle town of Andhra Pradesh’s Kurnool district, a strange sight can be seen every Thursday. Thousands of people gather around a 12-year-old boy and seek blessings.
The boy showers his followers or believers with water. Allegedly the water and the divine power of the boy solves all problems of the villagers. As soon as the Corporation tank arrives with water, people gather in front of the boy’s house. He conducts puja in the morning then showers the people with a hose.
People even come with bottles to collect the water. No matter what their problems are, they get solved when the water falls on them, that is their belief. He can cure any disease and is referred as “water baba”.
The 12-year-old boy used to go to school until recently, till he turned 12. But now he has left school. His parents are content with the boy’s aspirations. His mother refers to him in the third person as ‘Swamy’. An astrologer told his mother that by the time he is 12, he will acquire supernatural powers.
His mother told TV9, “If anybody comes here with diseases they will be cured. ‘Swamy’ can cure any disease. We don’t take money or give any medication or pills. It is just the water. He is capable of predicting the future too.”
His father said that because the astrologer told them that the boy will get superpowers by the age of 12 he dropped out from school. He said that the boy willingly stopped going to school, so there is no point of forcing him again. He wanted to end the suffering of people.
The Logical Indian Take
The child has been misled by the astrologer and by both his parents. Recently, a bill in the Karnataka State Legislative assembly was passed. The Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill, 2017, also known as the anti-superstition bill aims to do away with superstition in the state.
Curbing people from seeking treatment for medical ailments and asking them to believe in super powers or miracles have been made illegal in the bill. Also considering someone ‘God’ or ‘Devil’ is illegal. Andhra Pradesh should take lessons from Karnataka and sensitise people to understand right from wrong.
The Logical Indian urges its community members to stay away from superstitious activities and to judge everything with logic.