Mangaluru, Oct 31, 2015: Rationalist Narendra Nayak on Friday said a law banning superstitious practices was needed to protect people from being exploited.
He was addressing a meeting organised by the district unit of the Moudhyachara Nirmoolana Andolana Samiti, here at the culmination of a jatha demanding a legislation on the issue. Though not all such practices could be legally banned, at least some barbaric and inhuman ones could be, he said.
Maharashtra took more than a decade to bring in a law, that too after the murder of rationalist Narendra Dhabolkar in 2013.
When rationalists in Karnataka demanded a similar measure, vested interests had been trying to stall it. As a result, the draft had not even been presented before the legislature, he said.
The jatha was organised as part of a State-wide movement to pressure the government to speed up the process, he said. The samiti wants the government to constitute a committee to elicit views from all sections of society before preparing the draft legislation, he said.
Samiti leader M. Devadas, quoting Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, said no religion was free from superstitious practices; but the degree of practices was higher in Hinduism. If the government did not act immediately, the samiti would be forced to escalate the struggle, he warned.
Samiti convener Vasudeva Uchchila said they wanted only such practices which were inhuman, lower the dignity of mankind, discriminating between male and female and castes etc., to be brought under such legislation.
Members of the district unit of the Maudyacharane Virodhi Samiti took out a procession and staged a dharna in front of the Clock Tower here on Friday demanding a law against superstitious practices in the State.
The members of various organisations, such as the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), Samudaya Samskritika Sanghatane, Karnataka Komu Sauharda Vedike, Karnataka Rajya Dalit Sangharsh Samiti, Students Federation of India and the Democratic Youth Federation of India, participated in the dharna.
Addressing protesters, K. Phaniraj said the State government should revise the draft of the anti-superstition Bill and invite public debate and discussion on it. All heads of religions and communities, and leaders in political and social spheres should be taken into confidence, and a suitable Bill should be drawn out.
They also said the government should expedite the investigation into the murder of scholar M.M. Kalburgi.
It was necessary to stop unnecessary assault on individuals and derogatory references to individuals on the social media platform. Jayan Malpe, convener of the Dalit Sangharsh Samiti, said superstitious practices should include acts such as ‘made snana’ and ‘pankti bheda’. G. Rajashekhar, P. Vishwanath Rai, K. Shankar, William Martis, Cyril Mathias, Idris Hoode, Yaseen Kodibengre, K.V. Bhat, Balakrishna Shetty, leaders of various organisations, were present.
Courtesy: The hindu