On a quest to combat sorcery, black magic, and inhuman acts by godmen

Kerala Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practice, Sorcery and Black Magic Bill seeks to end superstition, inhuman acts.

In an era when science and scientific thinking have grown in leaps and bounds, there exists a certain section of people who still believe in sorcery and black magic. The growth in the number of godmen and god women, and the increasing tilt towards black magic, sorcery and such inhuman evil practice are a matter of concern in the scientific age we live in.

The self-proclaimed god people and their acts of sorcery have been increasingly garnering headline space, and more inhuman practices have come to light, of late.

In this context, the Law Reforms Commission had some time ago invoked the law to bring about a stop to such inhuman practices in Kerala. The commission had proposed legislation mooted as the Kerala Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practice, Sorcery and Black Magic Bill, 2019. The draft bill will now come under the consideration of the state assembly to be made into a law, and if passed, it would pave a progressive path in a society ridden with superstitious beliefs.

Tough stand against superstitions, black magic

The main aim of this proposed law is to take a tough stand against superstitions, evil and inhuman acts, and the self-appointed god people and exorcists who double up as sexual predators.

The bill that has been mooted in this regard has listed a variety of offences that are to be considered extremely serious and need combating measures. Included in the list are black magic, sorcery, violent exorcism, bounty hunting, creation of fear by way of invoking the supernatural, and also animal sacrifice.

As there have also been instances of sexual violence against women reported from various parts of the state, the bill also proposes to bring to task the godmen who adopt inhuman methods such as making women strip naked and also subjecting them to sexual activity, in the guise of blessing them. The bill proposes to bring godmen who resort to such acts under the law and penalise them.

These apart, superstitious practices, such as those prevalent against menstruating women, also are also proposed to be brought under the purview of the bill. Besides, the sale of objects in the promise of ushering in lucky charm to those who use them also stands to be halted.

Crimes to invite penalty up to 7 years in jail

Once the bill turns law, the offenders are expected to be handed a minimum penalty of at least one year in jail and Rs 5000 as a fine. Depending on the gravity of the crime, the prison sentence could go up to at least seven years and a penalty of up to Rs 50,000, a source said.

If the Kerala Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practice, Sorcery and Black Magic Bill, 2019, is passed and made into a law, the state will have welcome legislation in place against black magic, superstitions and inhuman acts by godmen.

It may be noted that the Maharashtra assembly had passed the Anti-Superstition Black Magic Bill in 2013, while the Karnataka assembly too did the same in 2017.

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