In a bizarre remark, Karnataka Law Minister TB Jayachandra on Monday said that since astrology is a science, it would not be part of the anti-superstition bill.
Talking to reporters in Tumakuru, the minister said, ”There was pressure to include astrology in the Anti-Superstition Bill. Since it is a science, we decided not to go against astrology.”
The minister also said that he will fight the next two assembly polls as astrologers have told him he would live till he is 105 years of age.
Reacting to the minister's statement, noted rationalist Narendra Nayak told TNM that the minister should have made a more sensible remark.
“I think like all fools, who confuse astronomy with astrology, we also should be doing that. As a minister, he should have more sense,” Nayak said.
“In the old days, an astronomer was confused to be the astrologer just because the panchangam also carries the calculations of the eclipses. They think that everything else is also scientific,” Nayak said.
Nayak also asserted that the Congress and BJP do not differ much when it came to superstitions.
“They are all Hindutvawadis of various shades and size. It's just that one is the A-team, another is the B-team. Even the Congress members run to astrologers, oracles and such people. There is hardly any difference between the two as far as these things go,” Nayak told TNM.
The controversial Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifices and Other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Bill 2016 was finally cleared by the state cabinet on September 27 after many dilutions.
The Bill will be presented in the winter session of the state Assembly, which will start in November.
The Bill was first proposed by CM Siddaramaiah when he came to power in 2013. Incidentally, Jayachandra was the only minister to back CM Siddaramaiah then. CM Siddaramaiah had said that the bill was opposed even by his own party members.
The BJP had opposed the original bill citing that it is against the freedom to practice religion.
“Some of the practices in the bill have been part of the Hindu tradition for generations and it will curb their freedom of practicing any religion. It is a breach of fundamental rights,” Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council KS Eshwarappa had said in the Legislative Council.