The Anti-Superstition Bill was tabled in the Winter session in Belagavi's Suvarna Soudha by the Karnataka Government on the second day. The Cabinet had recently given its nod for tabling the most talked about Anti-Superstition bill in the Belagavi Session.
There were discussions about what will come under the definition of superstition. According to the bill tabled, here are 11 factors which will be considered superstitions, henceforth.
1) Black Magic
Black magic also called Maata Manthra or Banamati in Kannada will be considered as superstition. Banamathi is a form of black magic where people would see stones falling from their houses. A few years ago, people in many north districts were gripped with fear of Banamati with reports almost every day appearing in the media. People thought that the presence of banamati would mean misery and sickness. The fear was so much that it forced the government to appoint psychological counsellors to banamati-affected villages.
2) Torture in the name of exorcism
It is quite common in the state that an exorcist called mantravadi is called when someone is allegedly possessed. Some exorcists beat up the one allegedly possessed, some keep in the darkroom, some give the person various punishments to get the one possessed of an alleged spirit. Even this will be banned with the approval of the bill.
3) Healing through touch, promising to change the sex of foetus
Those who promise to heal any disease just by the touch of fingers and those who promise that the sex of the foetus will be changed will be a punishable offence, once the Bill becomes the law.
4) Any practice involving hanging or pulling from hooks
Be it celebrations like 'Sidi hayuvudu' or pulling a traditional car (religious practice) through a hook on the back, mouth or any part of the body will be banned.
5) Hurting children in the name of religious practices
There are practices where children are placed on thorns, or throwing children from heights to cure children of some disease or even for good luck. Even this practice will come under the superstition tag.
6) Naked procession of women, children
Women and children can no more be taken out on procession, naked, in the name of religious practices and beliefs. This is a powerful point mentioned in the bill as this inhuman ritual is widely practised in the state and it needs to be banned.
7) No animals can be killed by biting their neck
In some of the rituals like Bhoota Kola, Theyyam and other practices the neck of chicken is bit by a human being and the priest drinks the blood of the animal. This practice will also be punishable.
8) No passing the heated coal barefoot
The ritual of making people (of all sexes and ages) pass through the coal (just after putting off the fire) without the footwear will also be considered superstition.
9) Ban on lock on the mouth
There is a practice where the handle of the lock passes through both the lips. There is another practice where an iron rod is made to pass through cheeks including the lips. In another practice, the iron rod is pierced through the lips including the tongue. All these practices will be considered superstitions.
10) No throwing of stones
If the bill is passed to be the law, soon throwing of stones on people in the name of religious practices or black magic will also be banned.
11) No treatment in the name of mantra-tantra or black magic
Giving treatment to people in case of a dog bite, snake bite or even scorpion bite in the form of mantras by using some powder, or perfumed air will be a punishable offence.