The Karnataka Assembly on Thursday passed what is popularly known as the anti-superstition bill, with a few modifications, The Hindu reported.
The bill bans advertisements about miracle cures for diseases, performing black magic, tantric acts, exorcism rituals and the practice of parading people naked or ostracising them in the name of a ritual, among other practices.
Opposition leaders in the state, except Bharatiya Janata Party MLA CT Ravi and Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Revanna, welcomed the Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill, 2017. They advised the government to concentrate on making lower-caste communities more aware about superstitions.
Ravi objected to the ban on the practice of “made snana” (pictured above) – a ritual where devotees from backward castes roll on plantain leaves, carrying leftovers of meals eaten by Brahmins, The News Minute reported. People should be allowed to practice it if they want to, he said.
BJP leaders asked the bill’s supporters why the Muslim practice of sunnat was not considered superstitious. “Sunnat hurts children,” said Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri, the MLA from Sirsi in Uttara Kannada. “Why is it not considered superstitious?”
Devotees keen on continuing the practice said they will challenge the legislation in court if the government does not withdraw the ban on “made snana”, Deccan Chronicle reported. “We want the government to drop ‘made snana’ from the ambit of the bill,” said Bhaskar Bendodi, president of the Rajya Adivasi Budakattu Hitharakshana Vedike. “If it does not, we will approach the court.”