Black Magic Banned but Propagation of Miracle by Babas Allowed: All about Karnataka’s Anti-Superstition Bill
The Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill, 2017, is expected to be approved by state Assembly in first week of October to put an end to ill practices such as witchcraft, black magic in the name of religion.
In Karnataka, Black Magic Banned but Miracles by Babas Allowed
New Delhi: It was after the murder of rationalist MM Kalburgi in 2015 that the Congress government in Karnataka came under intense pressure to pass the Anti-Superstition Bill. On Wednesday, the Karnataka Cabinet cleared the Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill, 2017.
The Bill is expected to be approved by state Assembly in first week of October to put an end to ill practices such as witchcraft, black magic in the name of religion. News18 points out what the Bill prohibits and what it allows:
THE BILL PROHIBITS:
Made Made Snana: Some temples in the Southern state hold communal meals which are open to people of all sects. Brahmins are served food over plantain leaves and then devotees from lower castes are made to roll over the leftover food plate leaves. This practice has now been banned.
Fire-Walking: On April 22 this year, Basavanna (65) sustained severe burns after he fell onto the burning coal embers that he was walking on, at the Kalikamba Temple in Mandya district. This is not a lone incident and walking on fire has been an old tradition in several parts of Karnataka. Now, coercing any person to perform fire-walk at the time of jatras/religious festivals, causing physical injury stands banned.
Baibiga: The cruel practice of piercing rods from one side of jaw to another side, which also includes the tongue, has been banned. The primary belief behind this practice is that God enters the body of the participant and protection from the evil spirits.
Mata Mantra, Gandra Dora: There is a section of people in the country who resort to modern medical treatment and medicines when attacked by a dog or bitten by a scorpion or a snake. But there exist practices like opting for treatment like mata-mantra, Gandra dora rather than modern medical treatments. In this process, a person suffering a snake bite or a dog bite, drinks three palms full of water and get his forehead pressed three times while chanting this mantra. It is now banned.
Gaavu: The practice where a person is forced to kill an animal by biting its neck has been banned. It has been termed as a nuisance to public health.
Inhuman, evil act and black magic: The Bill prohibits the performance of any inhuman, evil act or black magic to search precious things, hidden treasure or a bounty in the name of Banamathi. Tantric texts reveal that sorcerers in North India practice it as Kashmora whereas in the South, the method of Banamathi is practiced. The Act has also prohibited assaulting any person, parading him/her naked and to stop his daily activities and encourage him to commit such inhuman acts.
To Relieve A Body Of Evil Spirit Or To Use Such A Person As A Pawn: The Bill prohibits one from creating an impression that a body is possessed by some inapprehensible power and thereby create a fear in the minds of other people that such a power may be of evil consequence if the advice and guidance of the black magicians or person deceiving others are not taken into account.
No Inequality with Menstruating Women: Evil practices against women by forcing them into isolation or prohibiting their entry into village during menstruation periods or during their pregnancy stands banned. Women in such cases are subjected to inhuman and humiliating practices like making them parade naked in the name of worshipping the almighty or “betthale seve”.
No More Self-Inflicted Injury: There has been several instances when a person has hooked himself to a chariot and has pulled it or hung himself from a rope with the help of a hook. Now all such practices have been made punishable.
Attempts To Relieve The Body Of Evil Ghost: The Bill puts an end to the practice where babas or priests under the pretext of expelling a ghost, assault a person with rope or a chain, or beat someone with a stick, or make him/her drink water from shoes, cause pain to organs of a human body, feeding urine or human excreta to a person, etc.
No Pelting of Stones on Houses: Pelting stones in the name of Banamathi, mata-mantra and other rituals on a residential house has been completely banned.
No Invocation of Ghost: The Bill puts an end to the practice of invocation of ghosts, spirits or mantras and create a consequent fear in the mind of people.
No Aghori Acts: The Bill prohibits a person from taking medical treatment by the way of any inhuman evil practice or the ones offered by Aghori babas and the Aghori acts.
No Finger Surgeries: Any claims to perform a surgery by using fingers or claims to change the sex of a fetus in a womb would be punishable under this Act.
Preventing Children Being Thrown on Thorns: Rituals which persuade, propagate or facilitate children being thrown on a bed of thorns or throwing them from a height after branding them from heated objects have been banned.
THE BILL DOES NOT PROHIBIT:
No Bar on Circumambulation: Pradakshina, Yatra, Parikrama performed at religious places will be allowed. This is usually carried out in sacred places of Hindu, Jain or Buddhist religious places. In Sanskrit, it is known as Pradakshina.
No Bar on Hair Sacrifice: The Jain Sadhus and Sadhvis after receiving the Diksha (initiation), pluck their hair twice a year or at least once a year. This is called Kesh-lochan or Loch and it stands allowed. Even piercing of ears and nose of children is allowed.
No Bar on Religious Festivals: All religious celebrations, festivals, prayers, procession and other act relating other rituals are permitted.
Prayers Without Any Physical Injury: Performance of prayers, upasana and religious rituals at home, temple, darghas, gurdwara, pagoda, church, and other religious places which do not cause physical injury are allowed.
Propagation of Miracles of Saints Allowed: Publicity and circulation of miracles of the deceased saints and distribution of literature about miracles of the religious preachers which do not cause physical injury are allowed.
Astrologers Can Still Advise: Advice in regard to vaastu shasthra, and advice by jyothishya and other astrologers is permitted.