News & Information From Northeast India

Maharashtra-based anti-superstition crusader to work in Assam

Aiming to create awareness against superstition, a Maharashtra-based NGO working on eradicating the menace across many states in India, will soon start a campaign in Assam.

The Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS) or Maharashtra Blind-faith Eradication Committee, a voluntary organization which has been working to eradicate superstition in Maharashtra and a few other states in India, will carry out awareness drives in Assam. MANS chief secretary Shahaji Bhosale will travel to different parts of the state to create awareness against the social evils.

“We must bring to an end of all kind of social evils in all the states of the country. We will go to places in Assam to conduct awareness programmes. This is my first visit to Assam and we are hopeful to reaching to maximum number of people,” said Shahaji Bhosale who has been vocal against the menace of fake babas and their act of superstitions.

Bhosale has also advocated for a strong act to curb the incidents related to superstitions and similar practices like in Maharashtra. “After the act was in place, the number of such practices related to superstitions has gone down. I believe, it’s very important,” he said.

Assam Witch Hunting (Prohibition, Prevention and Protection) Bill 2015, supposed to be the strictest of its genre in the country, was passed in 2015 and was forwarded for the Union home ministry and President’s approval. But so far, there is no development.

Brothers, a social organization which has also been working to eradicate the superstition like killing people in the name of witch-craft practicing, is taking the lead in holding awareness programmes with Bhosale.

“We will stage street plays, will play songs which have been sang by Zubeen Garg, Tarali Sharma and Dikshu. We will try by various means to reach out to the people. We will invite all the village committee members, representatives of women organizations in all the villages in every nook and corners of the state. That’s how we want to proceed,” human rights activist and general secretary of Brothers, Dibyajyoti Saikia, said.

‘Witch hunting’ has been a major problem of the state with at least several hundred innocent people was killed for allegedly practicing witch craft.

State government data says that till March 2015, altogether 77 people were killed and 60 other injured in ‘witch hunting’ incidents since 2010.

More than 100 people have been killed in Assam from 2005 to 2014, according to a study conducted by an NGO. It says more than 500 such incidents related to witch hunting during the last 10 years.


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