mid day editorial: No fool like a superstitious fool

Aug 11, 2018, 07:15 IST | mid-day correspondent

While most are largely harmless, such as tying amulets or eating a teaspoon of curd and sugar before an important exam or interview, there are a few, such as human sacrifice, that tread extremely dangerous ground

mid day editorial: No fool like a superstitious fool

Superstition is a legacy handed down through families in India, albeit unknowingly. While most are largely harmless, such as tying amulets or eating a teaspoon of curd and sugar before an important exam or interview, there are a few, such as human sacrifice, that tread extremely dangerous ground. That it took a law in Maharashtra in 2013 to ensure superstitious practices were brought to an end, proves just how deeply embedded they are in the country's psyche.

A report in this newspaper yesterday about a group from Kalyan organising a picnic for students of Std XI and above at a crematorium on amavasya ki raat, came as a breath of fresh air. The purpose of the picnic is to show students that superstitions about ghosts roaming about on amavasya are baseless and irrational. It is heartening to note that 100 students have already registered for the activity, which means there will be at least that many who will grow up into rational minded adults.

This is more than what can be said for most of the country. Seemingly intelligent individuals, some even top honchos running large companies, well respected sportsmen and filmstars have shown themselves to be highly superstitious, which makes them sitting ducks for self-styled godmen and soothsayers. Godmen in India run thriving businesses because it is laughably easy to sway the minds of an ordinary Indian, considering his brain is already bulging from a steady diet of superstition since childhood. It is these godmen who encourage family feuds, caste discrimination and even murders in the guise of human sacrifice, using simple magic tricks to convince their audience.

We owe it to ourselves to think straight and not hand down our illogical, baseless beliefs to our children. What we need right now is to encourage a forward thinking next generation, not one holding themselves and the country back with its baseless fears.

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