RE: Anti Superstition Bill
To create an impression that oneself is having special supernatural powers, incarnation of another person or holy spirit, or that the devotee was his wife, husband or paramour in past birth thereby indulging in sexual activity with such person.
To keep sexual relations with a woman who is unable to conceive assuring her of motherhood through supernatural powers.
7) Create or to propagate of inviting spirit of God or Goddess through any person as a medium. This has been removed from the present bill and the following has been included:
To create an impression by declaring that a divine spirit has influenced one’s body or that a person has possessed such divine spirit and thereby create fear in the mind of others or to threaten others of evil consequences for not following the advice of such person.
This provision makes clear that it is not merely the practice of inviting a spirit that is causing harm but the fact that it is being propagated in society causing fear in the minds of the people. This needs to be stopped.
8) Assuring any woman to perform gopala santan ritual in the fourth month of her pregnancy for birth of a male child, operating stomach by fingers, diagnosing disease by placing stone, farshi (tile) on the head, making use of improper and harmful methods to diagnose and treat diseases and illness; claim to have divine remedies for abortion, contraception, enhancement of physical satisfaction in the sexual act for men and women, increasing their sexual powers, menstruation problems, conceiving, etc.
In the disguise of offering motherhood by performing some divine act or magical remedy keeping sexual relations with women who are unable to conceive, deflowering them, keeping illicit sexual relations with them.
This has now been removed and a short provision stating that claiming to perform surgery by fingers or claiming to change the sex of a foetus in the womb of a woman, has been put in place.
9) To spread threat amongst the people by way of invoking by mantras, putting up a false show to make a person free from poisonous infection, creating an impression that there is ghostly or divine wrath causing physical injuries and stopping a person from taking medical treatment and instead diverting him to practice aghori acts or deeds.
The following provision in this regard has been included instead:
To create panic in the mind of public in general by way of invoking ghosts by mantras, or threaten to invoke ghost, putting up a false show to make a person free from poisonous infection by invoking mantras or similar things, creating an impression that there is ghostly or divine wrath causing physical injuries and preventing a person from taking medical treatment and instead diverting him to practice aghori acts or treatment, threatening a person with death or causing physical pains or causing financial or psychological harm by practicing or tend to practice mantra-tantra (chetuk), black magic or aghori act.
10) In the name of jaran maran, karni or witchcraft (chetuk), assaulting any person, parading him naked, excommunicating or declaring any person as outcast or to expel a person from society or put a ban on his activities, declaring such person as possessed by evil spirit or incarnation.
To appear in the state of complete nakedness in the public place and misbehaving with women by treating oneself as awaliya baba or baba with divine power.
This has now been substituted by the following two acts:
By declaring that a particular person practices karni, black magic or brings under the influence of ghost, or diminishes the milching capacity of a cattle by mantra tantra, or create suspicion about such person, or similarly accusing a particular person that he brings misfortune to others or is responsible for spread of diseases and thereby making the living of such person miserable, troublesome or difficult, to declare a person as Satan or incarnation of Satan.
In the name of jaran maran, karni, or witchcraft assaulting any person, parading him naked or put a ban on his daily activities.
11) To create an impression that insanity has been caused to a person due to influence of ghost or divine power and to conduct mantra tantra to cure him by way of sacrifice of hen or goat or any other animal.
Cheating people in the false hope of providing freedom from madness, offering treatment to patients of serious or terminal illnesses by offering stones with the powers of mantras, finger ring, bangle, jogstick or thread, tait, ganda dora, etc, with such false hope.
This has now been replaced by: To create an impression that a mentally retarded person is having super natural power and utilizing such person for business or occupation.
The following provisions have also been removed:
Causing disturbance in society in general or creating panic or cause intimidation by way of chanting Mantra or Tantrik action in the name of exorcising a ghost or to free a person from the influence of ghost or evil spirit.
By declaring that Devi, a spirit has influenced one’s body, create disturbance by shouting and thereby spreading threat and disturbing the general peace, declaring the names of the persons who has done karni, etc, thereby making the living of such a person miserable of difficult, to provide unscientific cure to psycho somatic conditions such as giving angara, pendant, etc. to the people. Haunting a person with an influence of ghost by practicing witchcraft which cannot be proved with the help of modern science. Treating any disease with the help of mantra tantra without authorized or recognized medical degree under the law for the time being in force. Threatening a person with death or causing physical pains or causing financial or psychological harm by mantra tantra (witchcraft), Black Magic or by practicing aghori treatment.
Trying to make believe burning of things, vanishing of things, appearance of cross marks on the body, etc, as effect of bhanamati and claiming treatment for the same. Claiming to perform miracle by burying oneself in the ground. Under disguise of offering God’s blessings, cheating people by way of accepting money or any other belongings, by unlawful means. In the name of religion, Holy Scriptures, God and Goddesses, display of false extraordinary powers, indulgence in free sexual relations, adopting unethical and corrupt means for cheating and duping people. Compelling women to enter into prostitution and committing atrocities against them, by cheating them under blind faith.
The following other provisions have been included:
With a view to receive blessings of super natural power to follow the evil and aghori practices which cause danger to life or grievous hurt; and to instigate, encourage or compel others to follow such practices.
This is a noble effort of the legislators to put an end to the atrocities being committed in the name of religion. Throwing people in burning flames to cure people of Chicken Pocks, writing Ram on the doors of the house to prevent the unholy ghost from entering the house is becoming increasingly common these days. Although the intentions are good, as has been seen in the past, not all legislations score high marks where implementation is concerned. Some fail more so because people refuse to follow them and because it appears to be against the customs and traditions of the people. Literacy drives would have been more appropriate for such a personal subject. No committee has been put in place under this bill that would go around educating people about the evil effects of these practices. Another thing that comes across is that most of the acts named in the bill would be offences in itself, the only difference is that their commission under the guise of religious practice would henceforth also be termed as an offence. Nevertheless, the success of the bill still remains to be seen.