Amid voices of dissent, Council okays anti-superstition bill

KSE feels proposed law impractical, Yatnal terms it anti-Hindu

Amid voices of dissent, Council okays anti-superstition bill

Ostracizing women during pregnancy will be included as a prohibited practice under the Anti-Superstition Bill, which was passed in the Legislative Council after a three-hour-long debate on Wednesday.

The Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill, 2017, seeks to ban 16 practices including human torture in the guise of religious rituals and creating pranic by threatening to invoke ghosts.

"Keeping women out of villages during pregnancy will be added," Law Minister T B Jayachandra said.

While several members welcomed the Bill, they raised concerns on differentiating between belief and superstition.

Leader of the Opposition K S Eshwarappa opposed the Bill saying it was impractical. "How can you put an end to practices that have existed for years and that have been followed without any force," he asked, citing the examples of Mudradharane among Madhwa Brahmins, Sunat in Islam, piercing of cheeks and tongue among Lingayats and Kavadi or Harohara among Tamils. Basanagouda Patil Yatnal (Ind) opposed it, calling the Bill anti-Hindu.

However, BJP's D S Veeraiah supported the long-pending Bill. "It became a reality only because Siddaramaiah is the chief minister. Maybe J H Patel, too, would have brought a Bill like this," he said.

Veeraiah, Ivan D'Souza (Cong), Puttanna, Basavaraj Horatti and T A Saravana (all JD-S) demanded inclusion of televised astrology in the list of practices prohibited under the Bill. "After the 2008 polls, when I contested from Mangaluru, I was told by a Kerala astrologer that I'd win if I performed some rituals. I ended up spending Rs 1.5 lakh and I lost," D'Souza said.

Don't force me to visit temple: CM

During the debate Eshwarappa said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah did not visit the Sri Krishna temple while he was in Udupi recently because he was not invited.

Siddaramaiah said: "I was asked if I had been invited to the temple, I told reporters that no one called me. Is it a must to visit the Sri Krishna temple every time I visit Udupi? I'll go to a temple when I feel like going. No one can force me," he said. "I started going to temples only after becoming a legislator. Still, I don't believe Gods reside in temples."

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