Karnataka’s anti-superstition Bill

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  • The Karnataka Cabinet on Wednesday cleared the much-delayed and debated Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill, 2017, popularly known as the anti-superstition Bill.
  • The Bill, if cleared by the State legislature, is expected to put an end to various inhuman practices such as black magic, witchcraft, or any act in the name of religion that causes harm to humans and animals.
  • However, acts such as Kesh Lochan (plucking of hair), vaastu and astrology have not been barred.

What is banned?

  • Performing any black magic, inhumane act and evil practices in search of treasure or bounty, tantric acts which include physical and sexual assault.
  • Practices such as parading people naked, ostracising a person in the name of a ritual and encouraging inhumane acts during said rituals also come under the purview of the bill.
  • Rituals of exorcism, assaulting people under the pretext of exorcism, misinformation and creating a panic-like situation under the pretext of ghosts and black magic will also be banned.
  • Other practices such as making claims of having healing power, propagating practices that involve self-mutilation and coercing people to perform fire-walking will also be banned.

What is not banned?

  • The form of the worship such as Pradakshina, Yatra, Parikrama performed at religious places
  • Harikata, Keerthana, Pravachana, Bhajana, teaching of ancient and traditional learning and arts, practice, propagation and circulation
  • 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
  • Performance of prayers, upasana and religious rituals at home, temple, darghas, gurdwara, pagoda, church, and other religious places which do not cause physical injury
  • All religious celebrations, festivals, prayers, procession and other act relating other rituals
  • Piercing of ears and nose of children in accordance with rituals and performance of religious ritual such as Kesh Lochan by the Jains
  • Advice in regard to vaastu shasthra, and advice by jyothishya and other astrologers

Source:TH