Mehak Gupta Grover
Superstitions in India is considered a widespread social problem. Like any other country, we will find numerous superstitions and blind beliefs in people of India. The number of superstitions and blind beliefs is very large as our Indian society is made of people belonging to various religions, cultural, ethnic, linguistic and racial groups. There are many common superstitions in the people belonging to various groups.
Superstitions are usually attributed to the lack of education. But, in India, educated people have also been observed following beliefs that may be considered superstitions. Everyone has atleast one superstition that they follow, whether they admit it or not, whether it’s from a certain religion or a legend passed down from their ancestors. It’s in our human nature to come up with something to believe in, however obscure or ridiculous it may be.
You can legislate against crime, misrepresentation, fraud, but can you outlaw blind faith, even if accentuated by superstitions, if it harms no one? The line separating superstition from faith is thin, but the line differentiating faith even blind faith is very thick. It is latter that law must fight against. Blind faith can only be overcome by actual experience and education. In any case, not all blind faiths are foolish.
Blind faith can drive you to be a suicide bomber; at the same time, it also creates Gandhi or Mirabai or Mother Teresa. But there is always other side of the coin. I believe that all superstitions are harmful since they inactivate the reasoning capacity of the human beings. They make people waste their energy, time and money in worthless rituals and ceremonies. We need to be vigilant and guard ourselves against such superstitions. Who would like to survive in a dark room and being exploited year after year? Superstition is like an eclipse which casts it’s shadows forever and gulps the whole society. The outer cover of superstition is so hard that it won’t allow the beam of knowledge to penetrate through the conscious mind.
Mahatma Gandhi said-
“Faith must be enforced by reason; when faith becmes blind it dies”
In India, superstitions are numerous. Attaching sacredness to ‘ COW’ is well – known world wide. Our caste based obscurantist ideas and beliefs are proverbial. People leaving everything to God and remaining idle is a common culture in our society. Not only God, the so called disciples of God are making full use of people’s innocence. No doubt we all need an idol whom we can follow and who can teach us the right path but blindly following whatever the “GURU” says is totally not acceptable.
Isn’t media doing a fantabulous job. It gives it’s viewers what it wants. And these so called God men promise miraculous solutions for everything from romantic failure to riding a home of ghosts. They even tell followers that they ll get the much-longed- for child if they changed the chutney with their samosa!
What is more disheartening, even educated followers seem to be willing to accept such claptrap. The sight of these supposed godmen amazing wealth, travelling in SUV’s, displaying an inordinate fondness for expensive watches and developing ashrams that look like spiritual Disney land, doesn’t these things amaze anyone?
People today, no doubt are getting diet conscious, but just to become fit- they often consume products- in possibly mistaken belief- that they are improving their health; in spite of having no real idea of its positive or negative effects. I fail to understand what logics people have for all the blind beliefs they have? If one is crossed by a women with pot of water, it is good omen; if crossed by a brahman widow with shaved head, it is considered bad omen. If one sees a single bird myna, it is bad omen; if sees a pair of myna, it is good omen. If left eye lid moves, it is good omen for women and if right eye lid moves, it is good for men. What logics one has for all these above and numerous other beliefs?
an Indian rationalist who had set up an organisation to eradicate superstitions was murdered just because he was trying to eradicate superstitions and blind beliefs from the society?
God has made us with brains. Why don’t we use our brains and the intellectual power which god has bestowed upon us? He created individuals with rational powers, which imposes upon them the duty to understand things, if not then they are on the verge of superstitions.
“To believe blindly is to degenerate the human soul be an atheist if you want, but do not believe in anything unquestionably”.
Mehak Gupta Grover