BENGALURU: The controversial ritual of Made Snana being performed at Kukke Subrahmanya temple premises in Dakshina Kannada district could soon be a thing of the past. The Siddaramaiah government is preparing to introduce the much-delayed and debated Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifices and other Inhuman Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Bill, 2016, in the next session of the state legislature.
The bill, popularly known as the anti-superstition bill, has been drafted on the lines of the Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifices and Other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act, 2013. The screening committee headed by Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T B Jayachandra has approved the draft bill. The bill was referred to the committee after the draft invited strong protests from a section of the society and differences erupted within the Siddaramaiah ministry against some of the clauses.
The bill has provisions to deal strongly with cruel practices like human sacrifice, whipping people as part of some rituals, witchcraft, exorcism, parading women in the naked, sexual exploitation by invoking supernatural powers and killing animals by biting their neck. However, the revised bill would not interfere with people’s beliefs in astrology and Vaastu as the government does not want to interfere with people’s faith which does not amount to evil practice or cruelty,” Jayachandra told Express.
“The practice of human sacrifice as part of the hunt for hidden treasures is still prevalent in rural areas. We are determined to end such evil practices,” Jayachandra said. The state government has firmed up its decision to ban Made Snana, a ritual in which people from SC/ST and other ‘lower castes’ roll on the plantain leaves and leftover food from lunch served to Brahmins in the temple town of Kukke Subrahmanya.
This ritual is believed to cure many skin diseases. With the Assembly election fast approaching, the Siddaramaiah government has preferred to tread cautiously in dealing with the ritual of fire walk, common in most of the religious fairs in rural areas. The bill seeks to take penal action only if the act is forced on a person. Performing the fire walk voluntarily would not attract any penal action.