Hon’ble Minister, please don’t spread superstitions amongst women and children.

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“Superstition is the religion of feeble minds” said Edmund Burke.  They have no basis in reason and weaken the spirit of people.

 

A leading vernacular daily published from Ahmedabad, Gujarat has printed your two articles on crows and other birds on 2.10.2017 and 9.10.2017 respectively in regular column Samvedna (Empathy).  These articles purports to promote welfare of various birds.  The effort would have been laudable had it been based on environmental concerns and compassion towards animals. Unfortunately both these articles rely purely on Superstitions – Indian and Imported – to promote the birds. Many superstitions canvassed in your articles are based on superstitions prevailing in other countries like Nepal, Europe, U.S.A., Rome and other countries.  

These superstitions are like:

1)   A crow flying from south to west is a sign of bad weather.

2)   A crow flying from sough to east will bring financial gain to the beholder.

3)   A crow throwing bone or stick from beak to the bed below indicates danger or death.

4)   A cawing crow passing from left side brings good luck.

5)   Many crows cowing together is ominous sign.

Listing all 50 Superstitions - some forecasting negative and some forecasting positive outcomes - as narrated in your articles in this letter would be again spreading them.

You are the Minister for Women and Child Welfare.  Being a Minister and that too holding a portfolio of Welfare of Women and Children, it is your duty to lead your subjects in the right directions. You are expected to lead your subjects away from superstitions, religious or others; and at least not bring in imported superstitions into India. 

Being a Minister in India, you are bound by the Indian Constitution and bound to follow the principles and duties laid down in the Constitution of India for all citizens, in letter and spirit.  Part IVA of the Constitution contains Fundamental Duties. Article 51A (h) provides that every citizen of India “shall develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform”.

Your articles blatantly spread and promote superstitions in clear violation of the letter and spirit of the Constitution of India. Instead of developing the scientific temper and the spirit of inquiry and reform, it has enlisted and supported 19 superstitions in the article on 2.10.2017 and 31 superstitions in the article on 9.10.2017 and urges people to rely upon these birds to get guidance for their future.

The Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, 2013 adopted by the Department of Science, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India states `Promoting the spread of scientific temper amongst all sections of society’ as the key element of the Policy.   Your spreading of superstitions is in direct contravention of this policy.  Being a Minister in charge of one Ministry, you cannot work at a cross-purpose, against the policy of another Ministry of Government of India.

As a Minister, you cannot violate the Constitution of India and spread superstitions amongst citizens of India.  That is a retrograde step and ushering the Indian people into a dark age.

In due deference to the letter and spirit of the Constitution of India and in the interest of people of India, kindly withdraw 50 Superstitions you have tried to spread through your articles.

India is already beset with many superstitions, religious and others.  Addition of more superstitions at the hands of Hon’ble Minister can cause tremendous damage to the society and reverse the process of inculcating scientific temper in the people of India.

Anti-superstition activist Dr. Narendra Dabholkar was murdered on 20th August, 2013.  Spreading more superstitions now will be destroying the soul of Dr. Dabholkar.



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