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Karnataka to ban ‘superstitious’ rituals across state

Karnataka to ban ‘superstitious’ rituals across state

Bengaluru: The Karnataka cabinet on Wednesday decided to ban various superstitious rituals such as women parading naked and people rolling over left over food in Hindu temples or human/animal sacrifices across the state.

“The state cabinet has decided to introduce the Anti-Superstition Bill for amending the law to prevent and eradicate various inhuman evil practices, including human sacrifice and black magic,” Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T.B. Jaychandra told reporters here after the cabinet meeting.

As there was difference of opinion in the cabinet on using the word “superstitious” in the law, the Bill has been re-christened the Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill, 2017.

“As the Bill has been cleared by the cabinet sub-committee, it will be introduced in the winter session (of the assembly),” said Jayachandra.

The Bill proposes to ban, among other rituals, women parading and dancing naked for boon in the Hindu deity Renukamba Devi temple at Chandragutti in Shivammoga district.

Another age-old superstitious practice sought to be banned is called ‘Made Snana’ wherein devotees roll over plantain leaf with food left over by Brahmins at Kukke Subramanya Temple in Dakshina Kannada district, ostensibly for curing body ailments.

The Bill is also intended to stop people walking over fire in some religious festivals, using snake, scorpion or dog bites to cure rare diseases and preventing sacrificing bulls in Nagalamadhika temple in Tumukaru district.

Suggestions by progressive thinkers and social organisations were incorporated in the amendment Bill by the sub-committee, headed by Revenue Minister K. Thimmappa.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had said that his government was committed to bring a law against superstitious acts and confident that it will be passed in the ensuing assembly session.

The state government has been under pressure from civil society groups to amend the anti-superstition law after the murder of rationalist M.M. Kalburgi in August 2016.

IANS