February 10th, 2016
In what could turn out to be an embarrassment for the incumbent Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. His wife Amruta Fadnavis is facing flak for accepting necklace apparently pulled out of the air by self-proclaimed Godman Guruvanand Swami at a function in Pune.
The photos and videos of the act went viral hours after the event on Monday. A organisation has offered 21 Lakhs to the godman to perform the miracle in controlled condition. The incident bears significance as Maharashtra was the first state to legislate anti-superstition law and Mrs Fadnavis was at the receiving end of an act which has been banned under the very anti-superstition law enacted by the Maharashtra government.
Mrs Fadnavis has gone on to dispel fears and clarified that she has no beliefs in any miracles. “I Don’t Believe In Miracles” The incident happened at Pune-based educational institute Suryadatta Group of Institutes where Mrs. Fadnavis was to be awarded. A visibly agitated, the president of Andhshraddha Nirmoolan Samiti Avinash Patil challenged the godman to perform the so called miracle in controlled conditions.
If succeeded, a prize of 21 lacs will be presented to the godman by the organization. They demanded that CM Devendra Fadnavis should issue a clarification notice and tender an apology. Mrs. Fadnavis in her statement said, “I offered my salutations to the godman as I have inculcated the values of respecting elderly.
Swami gave me a necklace as a blessing and I would like to reiterate here that I don’t believe in miracles of any sort.” Maharashtra’s Road To End Superstition Maharashtra being the pioneer of anti-superstition law has a long legacy of rationalist social reformers who always took an objective and stood against superstition. This action has not only embarrassed the Fadnavis family but has questioned the very purpose of the law that emphasizes on ending the superstitious beliefs.
Besides, the incident has also hurt the sentiments of anti-superstition activists who are fighting a tough battle for eradicating the non-sense superstitious beliefs and blind faiths in the wake of recent murders of Communist leader Govind Pansare and Karnataka based rationalist scholar MM Kalburgi. The murder of notable rationalist-thinker and author Narendra Dabholkar in August 2013 propelled the Maharashtra government to pass the “Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act.” in December 2013.
Dabholkar confronted dubious rituals and fought against the people who claimed to have supernatural powers and preyed on gullible people. He was the driving force in pushing the state government to frame an anti-superstition law which was finally approved and passed as an ordinance a day after his murder. The law was created to address the problem of “Andha Shraddha” or blind faith and was meant to bring social awareness to create a safe social environment by protecting people from sinister practices.
The law forbids & penalizes a number of activities associated with superstition and others. Each clause carries a minimum sentence of six months and a maximum sentence of seven years, including a fine ranging from ₹5,000 to ₹50,000 along with the offences being non-bailable and cognizable.
The Logical Indian applauds the efforts of Maharashtra Andhashradha Nirmoolan Samiti who has been working hard to create awareness about the law for more than two years. We feel that there is a widespread requirement of such a law throughout the country. Since the constitution of India has stipulated adoption of scientific outlook as one of the responsibilities of every Indian, we request every Indian to be vigil about superstitions and the people who prey on vulnerable people using superstitions.