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Karnataka Assembly passes anti-superstition bill

The Karnataka governments much-hyped anti-superstition bill to prevent and eradicate “inhuman evil practices” was unanimously passed in the Legislative Assembly today with some minor amendments. The Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill, 2017, tabled in the Assembly on Tuesday, (14 Nov 2017), states that it intends to protect the common people against “evil” and “sinister” practices. The bill seeks to combat and eradicate other such inhuman practices propagated and performed in the name of”black magic” by conman with sinister motive of exploiting the common people, thereby destroying the social fabric in the society. Further, it aims to bring social awakening and awareness in the society and create healthy and safe social environment.

Replying to the debate, Social Justice Minister H Anjaneya said certain minor amendments sought by some members would be made part of the bill. Practices like Mudradharane by Madhwa Brahmins has been exempted. As per this practice, Mudras (dyes) usually made of gold or copper are heated on coal fire and stamped on the body. Vashikarana, practised in occult science as an act of subjugation or advertising about it in the name of treatment has been banned, following the suggestions made by the members during the debate.

The legislation was earlier proposed as The Evil, Inhuman and Superstitious Practices Prevention Bill. Afteromitting the word superstitious, it is now titled The Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practicesand Black Magic Bill, 2017. Cleared by the government on September 27, the Cabinet had earlier discussed the bill under the title The Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and Other Inhuman Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Bill. It had in July 2016 referred the legislation to a Cabinet sub-committee headed by Revenue Minister Kagodu Thimmappa, citing that most of the ministers wanted the bill to be studied in detail before coming to any decision.

Anjaneya, explaining the contents of the bill to the House, sought support of members in unanimously passing it with an intention to eradicate all evil practices from the society. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the governments intention through this bill was towards eradication of social evils and secure those who are being oppressed in the name of such practices. “Our intention is not to hurt anyones sentiments or feelings as being projected. There should be no place for suchpractices in todays world,” he said.

Stating that there were provisions to make anyaddition or deletion, Law Minister T B Jayachandra had earlier said the bill was similar to the one in Maharashtra. But the Karnataka bill has savings and schedule categories, which classify the practices that could be tolerated and those that need to be controlled or prohibited.

According to the bill, for removal of doubts, nothing in the Act shall apply with respect to the forms of worship mentioned under the heading savings and they include practiceslike pradakshina, yatras, parikramas performed at religious places, among other normal practices. It also includes the advice with regard toVastushastra, advice by jyothishya and other astrologers. Those practices which have been included under the schedule for prohibition are — performing any inhuman, evilact and black magic in search of precious things, bounty andhidden treasures. Other practices listed under 16 points forprohibition, include facilitating any person to roll overleaves of leftover food by other persons in any public or religious places or similar practices that violate humandignity. Also, forcing any person to carry out evil practicessuch as killing of an animal by biting its neck and coercingany person or persons to perform fire walk at the time of jatras (temple/village fest) and religious festivals have also been included, it added.

Stressing the need for educating people about evil practices in the society, Opposition BJP Leader Jagadish Shettar said “if we dont educate, then it just becomes another record.”

Belagavi (Ktk), Nov 16 (PTI)

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/karnataka-assembly-passes-anti-superstition-bill/1/1091248.html

Courtesy: PTI

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