Sunday, December 4, 2011

State cannot interfere with "personal beliefs".

MANGALORE: From terming the 'Made Made Snana' ritual as innocuous last year, muzrai minister V S Acharya has come a long way this year, stating the state cannot interfere with "personal beliefs".

Acharya differentiates between nude worship at Chandragutti and Made Made Snana at Kukke Subrahmanya, saying that when the issue of morality comes or public order is under threat, the state will interfere, and not otherwise.

You said it's not the business of the state to interfere with matters of faith. Will you support any ritual based on faith? The Constitution is very clear. It talks about fundamental rights like freedom of speech and expression and these freedoms are there for individuals, provided they abide with public morality and order. In this case, one cannot do anything now as it is not compulsory.

What about nude worship (bettale seve) at Chandragutti in Shimoga? Chandragutti is a different issue. There was nudity - hence the question of public morality and public order came the fore. If some people are not well versed with the Constitution, I cannot help them.

There's opposition from some quarters. Won't you interfere? That's not the issue. If it was compulsory, certainly there is cause of action for us to interfere. When there is no force, the question of our interference will not arise.

What do you have to say about the dissenting note from a cabinet colleague? What he (Kannada & culture minister Karjol) said was: ' When people are educated, such things might slowly disappear'. There was no dissent - that's media creation.

Karnataka Dalit Sangharsha Samitiwantsabanontheritual, claiming such an unhygienic practice will lead to contagion. Since you're a doctor, what's your view?The basic philosophy of such rituals is to get indirect immunity from diseases in the form of antigens and antibodies. In Udupi, there is an Anjaneya Temple where food is served on the floor. It may be another form of getting antibodies and antigens for immunity. In the age of chips, micro- and nanotechnology, we have to believe this. Because when nanotechnology was not there people asked questions about homoeopathy. Samuel Hahnemann (considered the father of homoeopathy) said dilution and further dilution increases potency of medicine. In allopathy, we do exactly the opposite. Worse the fever, higher the dosage. Now, it looks like homoeopathy may act like a trigger to boost immunity.

Rationalists say if 'Made Snana' has curative powers, they want randomized controlled trials to verify it. It's a personal choice. You cannot ask me to undergo a test. It's voluntary. There may come a day where somebody may tabulate data and highlight whether it has curative properties or not. In the absence of such data, one cannot say anything about tradition.

Why cannot the government create awareness regarding these rituals?
Hasn't the media has done enough to highlight it? So much so that the attendance on the second day higher and even more on the third, creating problems of crowd control. You (the media) unnecessarily hype it up. You should understand the reality (about faith).

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