For the past more than 90 days, four anti-superstition activists in Maharashtra visited every district and delivered over 500 lectures in police stations, colleges and schools in a bid to spread awareness about the effective implementation of one of the first anti-superstition laws in the country which stands largely unused even after 10 years of its passing.
Marking the completion of 10 years of legislature passing ‘The Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act, 2013, activists of Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti (MANS) kick-started the state tour from August 21–a day after the tenth death anniversary of MANS founder and rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar, who was shot dead in Pune, allegedly by workers of extreme right wing organisation, Sanatan Sanstha.
“This month will complete the 10 years of the existence of the law. But even the police force is unaware about the basics of this and hence they either willingly or through lack of knowledge does not apply charges under this,” said Nandini Jadhav, a Pune-based activist of the MANS who has been part of this tour from start to end.
“He (Dabholkar) fought for this act and it took his murder for the government to pass it in the Assembly. This year, we decided that since the government and its committees are failing to give the push for its effective implementation, we will visit every district and explain police officials about the importance of this,” she said.
The tour started from Pune on August 21. A car decorated with the poster of MANS and a photo of Dabholkar with four activists started the journey through Ahmednagar, Jalna, Buldhana and then Vidarbha. After covering the entire state, it came to Mumbai last week and culminated at Mahad.
“At every stop we approached authorities. Told them about our aim. We were welcomed everywhere. Nobody opposed us. We did programmes inside police stations as well and even in colleges, schools where not only police but even law professionals attended it,” said Bhagvat Randive, who too travelled during the tour.
Every day since then the activists have been holding four-five lectures without a single holiday in a district which they visit. “Some programmes are arranged by our colleagues in the organisation while in some cases we directly approach the police station and ask if we can give a small lecture. Nobody has said no to us. Rather the police officials keenly listen to the explanations and ask lot of questions,” he said.
Happy Diwali 2023: Wishes, Images, Status, Quotes, Messages, Wallpapers, Photos, and Cards
Pakistani fisherman becomes millionaire overnight after selling rare fish
The workers observed that police force’s knowledge about the act was negligible and some had even no idea about the existence of it or the scenarios where this can be used. “The government is reportedly spending few crores on popularising this law but sadly there is no awareness about it on ground,” Jadhav said.
The activists were faced with questions as to whether this is anti-Hindu. “We tell them that the law has nothing to do with religion. In fact, the first case under this law was of a Muslim quack,” she said.
“This year marks 10th year since the murder of Dabholkar. This is not a short span. We are touring the state to spread the work he started. We are working for the ideals he believed in we will continue to do so,” said Jadhav.