Superstition in India

15 Nov

When it comes to India, anything and everything is possible! I am sure you must have heard of this statement…definitely one man’s belief is another man’s superstition. All barriers are broken when it comes to superstitions. All you need is a panditji or a swamiji or a fakir to tell one that his mars is strong or bad period (shani) is reigning over him…that’s it! The person would leave no stone unturned in performing all the rituals that are required to be performed to set off the good period in his life.

Unfortunately, many fail to realize that the same amount of dedication and conviction if applied in other aspects of life would do them much better. But the social evils in India are entrenched so deeply that cutting one rope would not be sufficient. Superstitions and the caste system go along at the same line with the people from the higher caste considering the lower caste people as untouchables.
We, as the people of India have moved ahead in all aspects of life. So, why is it that it is so difficult to let go of our faith, beliefs and superstitions? We hear cases of daughters being sold off only because some swamiji has told the family that it would bring good luck to the clan. But these are certain serious offences which in times of today, are serious crimes overlooked by the society.
On the other hand, the less serious superstitions which I would call stupidity include not passing by if a cat has cut across your way. Similarly, one should not cut nails or wash hair on specific days in a week. The reason behind the above is because they are considered to be inauspicious.
Indians have the tendency to rely a lot on astrology and charts when it comes to important matters in their life. This aspect is so deeply ingrained, that even the educated people belonging to well-to-do families follow it religiously. This is particularly true when it comes to issues such as marriage. It is a known fact that in India, when there is an auspicious occasion like wedding, it is not just the union of two people but the union of two families. And so, the horoscopes (I would rather call it horror scopes!) need to match before the holy matrimony. The fact to be noted here is that inter caste and inter-religious marriages are still not accepted very openly here.
In today’s context, do such practices really matter? Is one already destined or an individual makes his own destiny? When it comes to Indians and the removal of these superstitions, it would merely question the very existence of the people.
For instance, let’s imagine the practice of such aspects being banned by the government of India. What would the people do? When it comes to the youngsters, I am sure most of them would be happy. There would be some who would rebel where as others would accept unwillingly as change. But then, getting back to reality, even our darling politicians would not take any action without consulting their astrologers. And so, it’s everywhere from the common to the poorest to the elite. An assurance of a soothsayer, be it a false one is important for our psyches to move in the right direction.
All in all, this is an issue of debate which would not end in the near future. All one can do is fight by spreading education and awareness. So, the shackles could only be broken when the chains are let loose. And the lock could only be opened with a key which is literacy and knowledge here.

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