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Sunday, October 02 2022
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A rejoinder to the critics of the antisuperstition act

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By: Narendra Nayak
    
Mangalore:The attitude of the parties, particularly the BJP opposing the antisuperstition act remind one of the opposition to the law banning sati, child marriage etc.  At that time the reactionary elements of the society that is the forefathers of the opponents of the act today vociferously opposed these progressive measures under the guise of religious freedom. It were these same people who used to tonsure widows, excommunicate those who cross the seas, those who had eaten with dailts and so on. Now the descendants of these elements are opposing the banishment of some inhuman traditions like madesnana, sacrifices in the name of appeasement of gods and so on.

Though we should know better than to expect any sort of welcome to the progressive measure, the venom with which they have opposed this progressive legislation says a lot about their primitive mindset. While they have no qualms about using the best of technologies from anywhere in the world, when it comes to mindsets, they would prefer to go back to the 16th century.

If an anti superstition bill is proposed it is to protect the vulnerable sections of the community for the unscrupulous elements who would like to exploit their gullibility and I do not understand why one should have objections to that. It is not said anywhere that the laws are applicable to Hindus only but the so called Hindutwavadis are claiming to be the protectors of the religion in order to cater to their vote banks.

The BJP has a long tradition of promoting superstitions like astrology, black magic etc. In fact their one time poster boy Yaddiyurappa had taken his superstitions to ridiculous heights by conducting black magic even in the Vidhas Soudha.  It is not that the Congress or Janatha Dal(S) are any better, but this time it appears that the Congress party has decided to change, probably due to the progressive attitude of the present Chief Minister Siddaramiaha.

There has been a long nearly a decade long struggle in Maharashtra and the bill was made as an ordinance in a knee jerk reaction to `the assassination Narendra Dabholkar, in Karnataka it is proposed directly as a bill to be passed in the Belgaum session of the assembly.

Those who have objections to any specific sections of the act could as well discuss that in the assembly and bring amendments if they can convince the majority about them. The Maharashtra assembly is yet to pass this bill despite of the attempts made in the past decade.  The BJP has forgotten that this country has a long tradition of reformism and humanism. In trying to defend inhuman practices which are passed off as tradition the party is exposing its intellectual hypocrisy and that its founders like Savarkar were atheists opposed to such superstitions.

This attitude also exposes the intellectual bankruptcy of this party which has no better issues to rake up now! Instead of looking at the attempts to get rid of superstitions as an attempt to remove evils from the society they are trying to perpetuate old exploitatory practices.

If they are really interested in the upliftment of the Hindu society they should add more such inhuman practices to the list already made and work towards reforming the society. It is possible that a large number of the banned practices are among the Hindus because they constitute nearly 80% of the population and naturally it would benefit the exploited sections. So, any party which is pro people should support this move to eradicate superstitions from the society.

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