In A Step To Curb Superstitious Practices, Karnataka Govt. Passes Anti-Superstition Bill

21 Nov 2017 12:31 PM GMT
In A Step To Curb Superstitious Practices, Karnataka Govt. Passes Anti-Superstition Bill
Courtesy: The News Minute, Source: India Today, The Indian Express

On Thursday, the State Legislative assembly passed the Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill, 2017, also known as the anti-superstition bill. Only BJP leaders opposed the said bill. The bill has also banned ‘made snana’ (a practice where Dalits roll in the leftover food in plantain leaves of the upper caste).


What are the provisions of the bill?

The bill specifies the 23 practices and bans them. The bill prohibits advertisement which suggests miracle cure for diseases by using black magic. Here are some other provisions in the bill.

  1. Threatening people with dire consequences if they don’t listen to someone who allegedly has superpowers.
  2. Claiming to have powers to change the sex of a foetus.
  3. Threatening to invoke ghosts by the use of black magic.
  4. Declaring a person ‘Shaitan’.
  5. Throwing children from a height, on thorns.
  6. Parading woman naked.
  7. Not allowing someone from taking medical help in case of a snake, dog or scorpion bite.
  8. Propagating, persuading, facilitating rituals which likely involves self-harming activities like hanging from a hook.


How was the bill passed?

As per The New Indian Express, the initial draft of the bill was prepared by experts at the National Law School University, Bengaluru. Later, an expert committee formed by the government made the first form of the bill from the draft.

The bill scheduled to be passed in 2016 but faced opposition. It finally got passed on Thursday with minor changes and only BJP leaders opposed the bill.

As The News Minute reported BJP MLA from Chikkamagaluru, CT Ravi argued that ‘made snana’ should not be restricted. He says if people are willing to do it at their discretion then the government should not restrict it.

BJP leaders questioned the practice of ‘Sunnat’ also known as circumcision. They asked why Hindu rituals and customs were only targeted. They also question the validity of halal meat. They also questioned the practice of Muharram.

“Sunnat also causes hurt to children. Why is not superstitious?” asked Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri.


Practices excluded from the bill

Practices such as padayatras, pilgrimage, parikrama at any religious shrine have been excluded from the bill. Also, reciting stories from any religious text about miracles performed by ‘saints’ or ‘devils’, religious processions and celebrations are considered acceptable.

The Logical Indian welcomes the bill and hopes that it will go a long way in instilling scientific temper.

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