You could be walking and suddenly see a lemon and some greeen chillies tied to a string lying on the road. Your first instinct is to avoid it. You may not even stop to think why you are avoiding it. You just do. If you take a moment to consider what you believe, is just an old wives tale or superstition that lime and chillies lying on the road have been used to ward off bad luck.
Such superstitious beliefs have been with us as long as we can remember. We may have never questioned their origins or verified how real they are. We just accepted them as something we follow. And this belief in touching wood and applying a black dot to ward off the bad luck, eagle eye has not decreased no matter how much we have progressed scientifically.
This attitude needs to be changed according to Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS). Set up in 1989 and having 180 brances all over India, MANS is dedicated to eradicating superstitions from our lives.
But what is the harm in following silly old superstitions that harm nobody?
But can we discount faith and its powers. Faith does play an important part as it gives people the strength to go ahead, but it is important to take care that the person doesn’t bank on that faith alone.
Man is a thinking animal who can rationalise his actions and beliefs. Over the years we have also devised scientific explanations for most of the things like the movement of the sun and stars we thought were miracles of God. After such progress, beliefs in superstitions pull a man back to where he started from.
But could some of these superstitions be based on some scientific fact? All superstitions are just old wives tales and have no base in science. Even miracles performed by babas and sadhus are nothing but sleight of hand.
Would education help to stop such practices? Some agree that education helps, but cautions that along with education we need to develop a scientific attitude which is lacking in current generation. As fas as belief in superstitions is concerned, there is no urban rural divide.
It is the attitude that needs to be changed. Arguments come from both sides about how good or bad superstitions can be. But it is high time that people stop basing their decisions on such superstitions. After all “a general can’t win a war if he turns back because a black cat crossed his path.”