Black magic to be blacklisted

State takes cue from Maharashtra, to ban voodoo, human sacrifice

Black magic to  be blacklisted

The State government is all set to ban the practice of black magic, ‘inhumane’ superstitious practices and Aghori voodoo in Karnataka.

Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs, T B Jayachandra, said on Monday that the government will introduce the ‘Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifices and Other Inhumane, Evil, Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act,  2013,’ in the winter session of the Assembly.

Surprisingly, the minister did not include the word ‘superstition’ in the preliminary draft of the bill or its content. It is speculated that the mention of the word ‘superstition’ may also draw attention to other superstitions like believing in astrology, etc.

It is said the decision to draft a bill to ban black magic was due to a series of correspondences by rationalists, whose views have increasingly become pertinent in the wake of the murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar in Maharashtra and his fight for a law in that state against black magic. The minister said that Karnataka will draft the bill on the lines of the anti-black magic bill in Maharashtra, but with a ‘difference’.

The government has begun the process of drafting the bill by roping in legal experts from the National Law School of India University and also taking inputs from the social welfare department. The law department on Monday held a meeting to deliberate on the proposed bill. The government decided to bring in a legislation after receiving a number of complaints and suggestions from various sections of the society, drawing the government’s attention towards such evil practices.

“From tying people to the tree and beating them to sacrificing toddlers, we have seen it all in the name of driving away the devil. This needs to be stopped,” said Jayachandra. The minister said the bill will have penal clauses under the Criminal Procedure Code.

Media and black magic

Jayachandra said that a decision was also being considered on how to stop those (including television channels) who encourage stories related to black magic.

“We will not curb the freedom of TV channels. But then, we have to consider action against those who encourage such heinous crimes by showing them in a successful light,” said the minister, “What we need is will. If we have the will and the police can implement it, then the bill will have the desired effect.”

Home truths

Dwelling on such serious issues, it seems that Jayachandra began to consider a bill to ban black magic in the confines of his home. Speaking to the media, in a lighter vein, Jayachandra said his wife used to sit before TV early in the morning and watch programmes.

“In frustration, some days I would tell her that I will break the TV set if she continued to watch such programmes. Such is the impact of TV. Some things, it appears, you do learn at home.”

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