Karnataka bows to mutts, dilutes superstition bill

Sandeep Moudgal

The Karnataka government has done a volte-face again on the anti-superstition bill by removing some key practices, including Made Made Snana, from the list. Bowing to pressure from mutts and pontiffs, and much against the views of rationalists and progressive people, the state government dropped the practice of Made Made Snana (rolling over used plantain leaves of upper caste persons) from the re-drafted anti-superstition bill. Sources said Made Made Snana was removed from the list of preventive practices of superstition based on legal grounds.

“With the Made Made Snana case still being fought in the Supreme Court, it was not correct to include it in the anti-superstition bill,” said an official.Chief minister Siddaramaiah had specifically spoken against Made Made Snana and called it an instrument of victimising the SC/STs.Sources in the social welfare department said the fresh draft, after it was sent back by law minister T B Jayachandra, has been renamed the Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and Other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act, 2016.

By removing the all-encompassing name of the Karnataka Evil, Inhuman and Superstitious Practices Prevention Bill, the government has removed all superstitious practices except those followed in the name of religion as being legal and out of bounds. Jayachandra said he’s yet to receive a copy of the re-drafted bill. “The previous effort of the social welfare department was not scientific and was sent back by me. I don’t know what they have amended. I’ve asked for the file,” he said. Kannada writer Marulsiddappa, who was a member of the committee which supported the preparation of the 2013 bill, and said it’s a tragic decision if the government has indeed dropped Made Made Snana from the list. “While it’s tragic that people who have gone to the apex court are tribals (Male Kudiyaru) who practise Made Made Snana, it’s even more tragic that the government is not exercising its responsibility.”

It is wrong to bow down to the mutts and the seers, ban all those archaic and unscientific practices says Varun Hegde.  The noted litterateur said the government, especially the CM, must get pontiffs of prominent mutts and rationalists to sit together and debate the finer points of the draft bill. The govt dropped Made Made Snana (rolling over used plantain leaves of upper caste persons) from the list though CM Siddaramaiah had called it an instrument of victimising people belonging to the SC/STs.

Courtesy: Times of India