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Opposition frowns at anti-superstition Bill, wants changes incorporated soon

Tuesday, 10 December 2013 - 7:42am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

After several rounds of discussion with public representatives earlier, the Anti-superstition Bill is still stuck in the wordings of an ordinance. In the first day of the winter session, after the condolence resolutions were passed by the House, speaker of the Legislative Assembly Dilip Valse Patil announced that a presentation would be made to the elected representatives in the Legislative Council on the Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori and Black Magic Ordinance Bill.    

The opposition leaders opposed the passing of the Bill in the present format, forcing the chief minister to call for a meeting of the group leaders. The Bill allows somebody to carry out their religious practices if there is a dog bite or a snake bite, but they cannot stop medical treatment.

Opposition leaders wanted the mention of Muslim and Christian rituals too. Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan later announced a meeting of group leaders of all parties in the next two days.

Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council Vinod Tawde said that several clauses of the Bill are not clear and it seemed to the public that it is an anti-Hindu law. Speaking to mediapersons later, Tawde said that there is a mention of ‘Ganda-Dora’ but it does not mention ‘Tabiz’ of Muslims or the holy water of the Christians. “Besides, the Bill allows for complaints by a third person. This can be misused heavily, and therefore, we want the government to introduce a clause in the Bill wherein a person of the rank of deputy superintendent of police and above should be investigating the case in case of a complaint by a third person,” he added. 

Social justice secretary RD Shinde attempted to dispel the doubts and apprehensions by saying that the clause of the bill clearly does not permit any action against people carrying out their traditional religious and customary practices. The only clause is that no injury or loss should be caused to others. Besides, it also does not prohibit people who uproot their own hair or whip themselves as part of the beliefs. 

Interestingly, Shinde assured that it does not prohibit people from practising their own tantrik practices in case of dog bite, but it prohibits somebody from stopping a person to pursue medical treatment along with the mantric practices.

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