Maharashtra govt. clears anti-superstition law
The Maharashtra government decided to promulgate an ordinance to enact a long-pending bill to uproot black magic, blind faith and superstitious beliefs. The step has come following the death of anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar . A prime supporter of the law, Dabholkar was shot dead in Pune which led to sparking outrage across the state. The Anti-Superstition Bill was first introduced in 1995 in the state legislature and was redrafted at least 29 times. Its clearance was delayed several times due to stiff opposition from various quarters’ especially Hindu groups which claimed it to be “anti-Hindu”.
Who was Narendra Dabholkar?
Narendra Achyut Dabholkar was an Indian rationalist and author from Maharashtra. He was the founder-president of Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS) -“Committee for Eradication of Superstition in Maharashtra”, and campaigned against superstitions, confronting dubious tantriks and claimed holy men who promised ‘miracle cures’ for ailments. He criticized the country’s “godmen”, self-styled Hindu ascetics who claim to perform miracles and have many followers.
He was the founding member of Parivartan, a rehabilitation centre located in Satara and served as vice president of the Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations (FIRA). Dabholkar was the editor of a renowned Marathi weekly Sadhan