'Vested interests' have put anti-superstition bill on hold: Siddaramaiah

The K'taka CM said that the bill was on the back burner as certain elements feared the loss of business
'Vested interests' have put anti-superstition bill on hold: Siddaramaiah
'Vested interests' have put anti-superstition bill on hold: Siddaramaiah
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It has been a while since Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah sent the Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and Other Inhuman Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Bill 2016 for another review to a committee headed by Kagodu Thimmappa. The bill has been on the back burner since 2013.

On Tuesday, the CM blamed ‘vested elements’ for blocking the bill against superstitious practices and said that these vested elements were opposing the proposed legislation fearing loss in their businesses, the Timesof India reported.

Siddaramaiah was speaking at the inauguration of the 9th annual conference of Karnataka Science and Technology Academy (KSTA) on Tuesday, organized by the academy and Christ University.

“Our government proposed a legislation to prevent superstitious practices. But we could not pass in the legislature as vested interests blocked it,” Siddaramaiah said.

To prevent the practice of black magic, the Congress government had tabled the bill initially in 2013 and was modelled after Maharashtra’s anti-superstition law, the Indian Express reported.

The government, however, put the proposal on hold in May this year after a few religious organisations opposed the bill, the Express report says.

Rationalist outfits in Karnataka have been demanding an anti-superstition law and the bill had gained some popularity last year following the murder of rationalist M M Kalburgi in Dharwad in 2015, Express reported.

After a Cabinet meeting in July this year, Karnataka’s Law Minister T B Jayachandra had said that there were no objections to the bill but MLAs had sought time to study it, media reports said.

“Two earlier drafts of the law were not tabled in the Assembly on account of fear of opposition to the regulation of some of the practices. Some of the proposals opposed by religious leaders and political parties are the banning of practices like the carrying of Swamis in palanquins and worshipping the feet of religious leaders,” the Express report states.

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