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Karnataka anti-superstition law

Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Karnataka anti-superstition law

What to study?

For Prelims: Overview of the law.

For Mains: Need for and significance of the law.

Context: A controversial anti-superstition law in Karnataka has formally been notified by the current government.

It is called the Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Act, 2017.

The bill bans the following:

  1. Performing any inhumane act, evil practices and black magic in search of treasure, bounty.
  2. Tantric acts including physical and sexual assault.
  3. Parading anyone naked.
  4. Ostracising anyone in the name of ritual and encouraging inhumane acts.
  5. Creating impression of ‘possession’ and exorcism.
  6. Assaulting people under the garb of exorcism.
  7. Spreading misinformation and creating panic in the garb of ghosts, black magic.
  8. Making claims of healing power.
  9. Propagating practices that involve self-mutilation.
  10. Coercing people to perform fire-walking.

What is not banned?

  1. The form of the worship such as Pradakshina, Yatra, Parikrama performed at religious places.
  2. Harikata, Keerthana, Pravachana, Bhajana, teaching of ancient and traditional learning and arts, practice, propagation and circulation.
  3. Miracles of the deceased saints propagation, publicity and circulation of the same and the propagation, publicity and distribution of literature about miracles of the religious preachers which do not cause physical injury.
  4. Performance of prayers, upasana and religious rituals at home, temple, darghas, gurdwara, pagoda, church, and other religious places which do not cause physical injury.
  5. All religious celebrations, festivals, prayers, procession and other act relating other rituals.
  6. Piercing of ears and nose of children in accordance with rituals and performance of religious ritual such as Kesh Lochan by the Jains.
  7. Advice in regard to vaastu shasthra, and advice by jyothishya and other astrologers.

Need for a law:

Inhuman practices in the name of religion in the country are a cause of worry. In Maharashtra, there were several cases where people murdered or brutally injured others and held them responsible for some deaths in their families, merely on suspicion.

So, a law to prevent exploitation in the name of religion is necessary.

 Sources: the hindu.