Since time immemorial, superstitions have engulfed people's lives across the globe. Superstition is often referred to an irrational belief in supernatural influences.
India is a home to many of the superstitions. Most of the Indians have an irrevocable faith in superstitions which are often baseless. People are often warned of bad omens like "if a black cat crosses their path" or "if somebody sneezes before making a start". Superstitions thus have become an integral part of many a people's lives in our country.
Superstitions should not be confused with 'traditions and customs' that reflect the ethos of a country and often lead to the upliftment of the society. On the other hand, superstition is a blind belief which is totally baseless. The origin of superstitions dates back to the ancient times. As science was not prevalent, people believed in magic and superstitions and wore amulets to protect themselves. Natural calamities were considered as 'weapons of destruction' by the demons.
Despite making advancement in science and technology, many a people have strong conviction about these superstitions. Though there's some improvement since 19th century, superstitions still hold good to many people in many parts of the country.
Illiteracy and lack of awareness are the main reasons for the superstitions to thrive. Some people endorse these superstitions out of fear from caste outfits, or due to the apprehension that they may be outcast from their community.
It's not a child's play to eradicate superstitions from our society which are deeply rooted since ages. For this change should be brought in the mindset of people through a gradual process.
Sacrificing animals in the name of 'offerings to god' is a dastardly act. Such act should be condemned by all the free thinkers and reformers. This may lead to a lot of resistance, but it should not be given up and it should be dealt cautiously. The serious challenge in front of us is to bring a scientific outlook in our minds.
Various clubs and seminars can be conducted to throw light on the need to abolish superstitions from the society. These issues are often best addressed through debates and discussions. Spiritual leaders, cutting across religions, should be the helmsmen in creating awareness among the public about various ill effects of superstitions.
The message that "Religion should bring glory to a man's life but not bring him down to the level of a beast" must be reiterated.
Swami Vivekananda from whom many a youth draw inspiration, strongly condemned superstitions and urged for the need to bring about a revolution in the existing principles.
Social media, which is very popular these days, should be instrumental in spreading awareness about the ill effects of superstitions.
The eradication of superstitions calls for a countrywide campaign involving various social activists, celebrities, eminent people and reformers.
Changes should be incorporated in the education system so as to prevent the young minds from getting polluted. Anti-superstition laws must be framed if necessary.
The assassination of Narendra Dabholkar, an anti-superstition activist and an author from Maharashtra brings the issue of superstitions into spotlight. The Maharashtra government has brought anti-superstition law, sadly after his demise, for which Mr. Dabholkar had been fighting for since a very long time.
However, mere amendments in law cannot ensure a permanent solution to this persistent problem. Stringent enforcement of the law, collective responsibility taken up by government, activists and public play a very crucial role in eradicating superstitions.
The society is most harmed when rational thinking people keep quiet on this issue. It's an appeal to all the rational thinking people should come forward and create awareness among the masses about the evils of superstition. For this to happen, the entire society has to get awaken and rise up against such practices.
It's high time that people from all walks of life develop a scientific temper to do away with superstitions. Eradicating superstitions should be taken as a serious challenge, otherwise superstition free India will remain as a distant dream.