True face of draconian law
For sake of clarity, we have divided the analysis in four parts similar to that in draft of the bill. Also please note that Andha-shraddha Nirmoolan Samiti i.e. Anti-superstition org. is referred below as A.N.S.
C. Schedule of the law
1. Present laws are capable.
Schedules Item No 1:
Observation: Let the Govt first answer this question, “Will the police take any action if these crimes take place before the Law comes into being?” The definite positive answer shows that present laws are capable and a new law is not at all necessary. We have no objection to punish the people commiting these crimes. But the present Indian penal code has clear provisions to do so. Therefore there is absolutely no need for a separate Law. If somebody feels that the punishment given for these crimes in the Indian penal code is not adequate then the Government has right to amend the existing laws. For current provisions refer the Indian Penal code (I.P.C.) sections 319–326, 299,302,508,117, 497, 417 etc.
2. The Law does not accept Divine energy.
Schedule item 2:
Observation: Now there is a change in the ‘schedule item 2’. The word ’miracle” is stated as “so called” In the booklet, published Dr. Narendra Dabholkar of A.N.S. (Anti-Superstition Meaning, Objections and Implementation, Page. 31) he clearly stated that, “By this item ANS has won an important battle… Since miracles are called ‘So-Called’… One must know that all miracles are necessarily false i.e. so-called” Also he states, “Miracle means something happening beyond the cause and effect rule of Science.” Even Prof. Shyam Manav had stated during the meeting with Shivsena, “That which cannot be proved by science is a miracle”. Science is yet to discover components of the mind and the intellect. How could such science test or discover the science behind the miracles that occur because of Divine Energy? So claiming miracles to be untrue is to claim that the divine, super-natural energy does not exist. As there is no scientific proof of this claim, the law cannot say so.
Miracles are described in the Dharmik Vidhi’s like Satyanarayan pooja, Vaibhav Lakshmi Vrata, Rites after Death, Narayan Nagbali, etc. describe miracles and what can be achieved by doing these rituals. If the stated result is not obtained then the pooja, items and the books related to it can be confiscated and banned. Similarly while performimg pooja one has to follow certain rules as stated in pooja-books. If ignored one will not be benefitted or even get harmed. Such rules can be called as threats and hence one can ban pooja and the entire path of ritualistic worship.
In all the paths of spiritual pratice the seeker gets the experience of the divine principle. For the world it is like a miracle. Compilation of such experiences and spreading word about them is an intrinsic part of spreading righteousness or religious knowledge. Calling this a crime is an infringement into the right to religious freedom. Further, books about the miracles performed by Shirdi Sai Baba, Swami Samartha in their lifetime are available for sale. Similarly every sect has books about the spiritual experiences of their devotees.
According to the Christian religion the Pope has the authority to declare a Saint. To call one “Saint” it is necessary that he should have performed atleast one miracle. It was required to prove that Mother Teresa perform miracles before she was declared to be a Saint. Will all saints in the Christian Religion be considered as fake?
In the Bible there is mention of unscientific facts like ‘the earth is flat’, ‘earth has poles’ ‘the sun revolves around the earth’. Because of this is the Government going to take action against the ‘Bible’?
3. Ban on Penance, Ritual, Yoga etc.
Schedule Item 3:
Observation: Trying to get blessings of the Divine energy is called ‘Sadhana’ or ‘Upasana’ or ‘Spiritual Practice’. The path a person chooses to get the blessings of the Divine Energy is his own choice. Bringing a ban on this is a curtailment of the right to personal freedom
Because of this law ‘tapascharya’ penance, ‘Anushthan’ rituals, ‘tirthayatra’ pilgrimages, ‘upavas’ fasts can be banned claiming that those are dangerous to life and have no sceintific base. The Jain Munis and Christian Nuns accept this path of their own accord. When this is so this Law will ban the path of obtaining this knowledge, these are signs that it will destroy spirituality and culture.
The great Saint Gagangiri Maharaj has done penance standing in water. The fish have eaten his fingers and toes. Will he be arrested under this Section? In the Muslim religion there is a ritual called “Maatam’ in which the person hits his body with sharp weapons. Is the Government going to take action against them too?
4. The funny Section in the act
Schedule item 4:
Observation: If a person does human sacrifice it is considered an Andhashraddha. If this is proved as per the law then the person is sentenced for at least 6 months and to the maximum of 7 years at the most. But in the Raman Raghav human sacrifice case, the sentence given was that of Hanging as per present IPC 302. If this is so, then what has the Government and ANS achieved by including this unnecessary Section, which gives only 7 years sentence for the same crime. Also there are no legal definitions provided for the words Spells, Sorcery, Jaran maran etc.
5. Divine Trance is a crime.
Observation: the government has not given the thumb rule with which to examine and decide if the Divine energy has entered the Body or not. Whatever the vigilance officer feels shall be the truth, this is the strange law that shall be implemented.
6. Schedule item No.6, 7, 8 : unnecessary Sections.
Observations about itme 1 are applicable to the schedule items No. 6, 7 and 8. Please see Indian Penal Code (I.P.C.) section, 319-326, 299,508,117,497and 417.
7. Ban on the science of Ayurveda, Healing Methods and the traditional home remedies.
Schedule item 9:
Observation: Today, many villages in Maharashtra do not have medical facilities. In many places people have to travel a distance of many kilometers to reach a Doctor. Government should first arrange for the medical facilities and then think about such a law. Further it is a question of individual choice as to which method of treatment the individual wishes to undergo. Preventing this is an attack on personal freedom.
More over, the Health department of the Government of Maharashtra put up one law giving protection to the people practicing traditional medicine. The new law will take this protection away. These two Laws of the Government of Maharashtra have proved to be Contradictory to each other.
8. Inclusion of unnecessary items
Schedule item No.10:
Observation: These claims are topics for research. Till the time Science proves that they are false it would not be appropriate to declare them as offences or crimes. Punishing a person for making any type of claim is suppression and oppression. The present laws are equipped to handle the situation if a complaint is made in this context and so inclusion of this item is unnecessary.
9. Schedule item No.11
Observetions about itme 1 are applicable to the schedule items No. 6, 7 and 8. Please see Indian Penal Code (I.P.C.) section, 319-326, 299,508,117,497and 417.
10. Law that is trying to declare Saints and Mahatmas as Mentally retarded
Schedule item No. 12. :
Observation : As the Government has not declared what are tools or norms accepted by them to test Supernatural powers. H.H. Gajanan Maharaj of Shegaon and H.H. Bhalchandra Maharaj of Kankavali were ‘Avaliyas’ or Sages absorbed in meditation. As many, realized their Sainthood, even today society has a large number of their devotees. ‘Avaliyas’ or Sages absorbed in meditation do not have any body consiousness and so their behaviour appears to be like that of a mentally retarded person. In such case to decide who is mentally retarded person and who is a saint, spiritual practice becomes necessary. It cannot be investigated or decided through legal means.