Moving against the prevalent social evils in Karnataka, the cabinet of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday introduced a bill to ban various superstitions. Since there was a disagreement among the cabinet members over the word ‘superstitious’ in the bill, it was renamed to Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill, 2017 before being passed. After getting cleared by sub-committee of the cabinet, the bill will be placed in the winter session of the assembly.

At one hand there are reforms taking place in the country but on the other hand there are still rampant running evils in the society that direly needs to be uprooted. Superstitions have had a long history in India, like the now abolished ‘Sati’, where a widow was burned alive on her husband’s pyre or human sacrifice, which came to light when almost 200 cases of child sacrifices were reported in Uttar Pradesh between 1999 and 2006. Here we look at the 5 superstitions which Karnataka’s new bill will prevent:

Naked parade of women

In the Hindu deity Renukamba Devi temple at Chandragutti in Shivammoga district, women are stripped naked and then they are paraded and made to dance in the temple premises. This is practiced to please the Goddess and bring about better fortunes.

Rolling over food

In the Kukke Subramanya Temple in Dakshina Kannada district, the devotees lie flat on the ground and roll over the left over food by Brahmins on a plantain leaf. There is a belief among the devotees that doing this cures their bodies from any existing or future ailments.

Walk on fire

The adherents walk over a bed of burning coal to show their devotion to God. It is a prime practice in certain religious festivals in the state of Karnataka.

Snake and scorpion bites

In some rural parts of the state, devotees with rare diseases get themselves bitten by poisonous snakes and scorpions, sometimes even by dogs. They believe that these bites cure them from the ailments they are suffering.

Animal sacrifice

A large number of bulls are sacrificed in the name of God by the devotees in the Nagalamadhika temple in Tumukaru district. Some traditions in southern states of India have come under heavy for them involving cruelty against animals.