Confronting The Curse of Superstition

superstitions

Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy the mad daughter of a wise mother. These daughters have too long dominated the earth.                   – Voltaire

How well Voltaire has linked religion and superstitions!!! This quote fits well to a country like India where religion is your prime identity…No matter how good you are or how well educated you are… At last you are going to be judged by your religion, caste or creed. As Voltaire has mentioned, this mad daughter of religion is slowly poisoning our country and deteriorating our dreams of India 2020. If a country’s human resource development minister believes in such things what do you expect from people like you and me?

Yes…  I am referring to the incident that happened about 2 years back, the country’s HRD minister Smriti Irani was on a whirlwind tour of Rajasthan, where she was photographed with her palms outstretched in front a local astrologer, asking him to predict her future. That astrologer told her that she would be a president in next five years.  After this incident she was so criticized and then demoted to textile ministry… Now my question to you is that considering the current scenario, Do you think she can be a president in next 5 years? On what basis he postered her as future a president of India? Was he a political analyst? Was he a supremo of ruling party? This one incident is enough for us to disclose the fallacy of palmistry and astrology. Actually it’s good to have a faith in something but faith and superstitions are closely related. There is a thin line between faith and superstitions and if this line of belief is crossed it will not take much time to convert your faith into superstitions…

The ‘God’ Concept…

Whether the god exists or not is surely a debatable question. Lots of debates and discussions can be held over the existence of god. In India there are two sorts of people, one who do not believe in existence of god, atheists while the others who believe there is a supernatural power which controls all our lives…I am neither atheist nor do I believe in god…For me, god is a concept created by our society…Something to believe in when the hardships are coming and the road is difficult.. Something to fear of when we are falling apart from our moral values… Something to look back after achieving our goal…Something that unites people of different sections irrespective of caste or creed…All in all, for me, god is a source of positive energy and mettle which increases our morale to fight…It need not to be a Murti or a Cross or Dargaah…It is a thing that you believe in for your own good.

This concept of god was then made a propaganda… Eventually there was a rise of Babas, Ammas and other Dhongis. What is the purpose of going to a Baba if you can’t conceive a child? Or you can’t get a job? If you can’t conceive a child go to the doctor and try to find out probable solution…if you can’t get a job then just try harder to get it. What is there in visiting Babas and wasting your money and time for such fallacies? We go there because we doubt our capabilities and conscience…this Babas  then take advantages of our helplessness and soon turned into ‘Aasarams’. Don’t we need to figure out solution for these things?

It’s not like government is not making any efforts to prevent such disbeliefs, it is us who make these Babas and Dhongis stronger .We people rather protect these Dhongis when anti superstition societies or police tries to control this falsehood and make them as our idols. It has happened before and it will continue to happen in future unless and until we change our mindsets.  One such example of major unrest in our country is an assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her own security guards and the reason was operation blue star. In 1984, an army operation was carried out to remove a religious leader or you can call him as a sort of Baba Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his armed followers from Harmandir Sahib Complex in Amritsar.  As an act of vengeance, our prime minister was murdered which lead to anti Sikh riots in which about 3000 Sikhs were killed.  This was all because of one such a baba who was demanding a Swatantra Khalistaan.  This massacre can be viewed as lesson to learn for us and we should think twice before idolizing someone as our Guru and following his path.

I am not saying to be atheist but we should not blindly follow the things in fear of god. We should think about what is morally correct in that situation without any influence of religious feelings. Few days back, there was an article in ‘The Hindu’ about recent clash between Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam and FSSAI(Food Safety And Standard Authority Of India). The RTI applicant had filed a complaint with FSSAI in July alleging that the Laddus were made in an unhygienic manner. Materials such as bolts, nuts, key chains and gutka covers have been found in the Laddus. The FSSAI has asked the Devasthanam to obtain a food safety licence like any other Food Business Operator. In response to this order, TTD told food inspectors to stay away from Laddus kitchen. TTD had claimed the ‘Laddus’ could not be defined as food as they are holy Prashaad and pilgrims were not consumers. Now what if the pilgrims got poisoned due to these unhygienic ‘Prashaad’? You cannot put anybody’s life at risk just for the sake of your religious feelings. What is the problem to get a food certificate if proper care is taken while making Laddus? They are saying how unhygienic these Laddus maybe but no one will get poisoned just because it is ‘Holy’ Prashaad. Does this make any sense? This is the point where religious feelings rather fear of god chokes our logical thinking…

A survey conducted by the Hindu Business Line revealed that about 61% of employees are superstitious in a survey which covered 800 companies all over India… Here we can see if this educated employees are being superstitious, how can we expect villagers and illiterate people to modernize their thoughts about these fallacies? We often say America is superpower, America is overwhelming in almost every field and many things like that. We tend to follow their lifestyle, their food and their culture. Now the interesting fact here is the percentage of superstition followers in America is less than a 25% and that too a superstitions like lucky numbers, lucky letters and other such things. Superstitions that are not horrible as compared to ours. If we can adopt western culture and their lifestyle, why don’t we adopt these things from them..?

According to census 2011, there are about 4 to 5 million officially announced Sadhus, Babas and Ammas in India. If these Sadhus,  Babas and Moulavis can really change fate of people …Why can’t they change fate of our nation? Why we are still struggling with poverty and hunger? With such a huge number of ‘fortune-maker’ Babas we should have outrun these challenges a long time back…why this is not so? Why their magic and powers are ineffective when it comes to development of our nation? Are these magics limited up to materializing gold chains and ‘Angaaras’ from air? Don’t we need to rethink on our views regarding this magic tricks and tricksters? I think this situation in our country can still be changed if we change our mindsets about these deceptions. We should try to think scientifically, after all science is the great antidote for the poison of superstition and enthusiasm.  If people are properly educated and encouraged to develop a scientific attitude and rational thinking we could still  Make A Difference…

 


16 thoughts on “Confronting The Curse of Superstition

  1. a great post.. what i liked is
    All in all, for me, god is a source of positive energy and mettle which increases our morale to fight…

    true let’s not say that no one should believe in God, everyone has their choice.. but yes we should not believe in people who proclaim themselves to be god and help us…

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Beautifully compiled … I am with you when you say that everyone has the right to chose your own path of belief, just don’t do it blindly … And while we are discussing superstitions here, this thought can prove to be monumental in every walk of life … It can transform our education system, increase our political awareness, make us free of a whole lot social stigma and increase our level of rationalism in general …

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Two things: I like voltaires quote. Question: When does madness arise? Is it dominating or recurring?
    Your statement: “If a country’s HR minister … what do you expect from … you and me?” I expect us not to look upto such leaders/ role model. Expect more from yourself!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Superb post, superstitions are one of those things which hinders the growth. However people in cities have slowly started overlooking these superstitions. But that doesn’t mean urbanization is a solution but upto a point it helps.

    Pls check out our blog and if you like it do follow.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I really like the way you write.Although you claim yourself not to be a critic yet you write like a perfect journalist.
    I really liked your concept of God and perception of these ‘dhongi babas.’I really wonder how fast we are in imitating western culture and not their open mindedness!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much.. I think as long as these dhongis and babas are there in our society..we cannot make progress in any field..its good to have faith in god..but idolizing these creatures would definitely harm our society..

      Liked by 1 person

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