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Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti

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Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti

An awareness campaign organized by the Samiti to highlight Narendra Dabholkar's death

Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS; or Committee for Eradication of Blind Faith, CEBF) is an organisation dedicated to fighting superstition in India, particularly in the province of Maharashtra. It was founded by Narendra Dabholkar in 1989.[1] It is currently headed by Avinash Patil after Dabholkar's assassination.[2]

History and work

It was founded by Narendra Dabholkar in 1989.[1] In 1999, MANS had protested the canonisation of Mother Teresa on the basis of purported miracles, but they had praised her service to the ailing and diseased.[3]

The organisation has also campaigned against immersion of Ganesha idols in water bodies. They have been urging people to use smaller idols and vegetable dyes to avoid polluting rivers and lakes.[4] They have urged people to immerse the idols into the tanks built specially for this purpose on the riverbanks.[5]

They have protested the torture of mentally ill people under the superstitious belief that it will cure them. Such practices are carried out in a dargah in Chalisgaon.[6]

MANS has also challenged godmen who claim to perform miracles. In December 2002, a prize of 11 lakh was announced to be given to anyone who could perform one of the listed 12 miracles. The list included walking on water, floating in air, standing on hot coals for five minutes, being present in two places simultaneously and materialises necklaces from thin air, among others. Members of MANS toured rural areas debunking these godmen.[7]

They have campaigned against astrology. In October 2009, MANS organised a contest with a prize money of 21 lakh challenging astrologers to predict the results of the Maharashtra Assembly poll election with at least 80% accuracy.[8]

Anti-Superstition and Black Magic Bill

MANS had been campaigning for a law to check the exploitation of people's superstitions in [9]

On 2 March 2009, MANS members wrote a letter in blood and sent to then Chief Minister [11] They also ran telegram-sending campaign from 7 July to 25 July 2011 to draw attention to the issue. The telegrams were sent to the Chief Minister.[12]

Dabholkar was murdered on 20 August 2013. The pending Anti-Superstition and Black Magic Ordinance was promulgated in the state of Maharashtra, four days after his death.[13]

See also

References

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Further reading

External links

  • Official website
  • Thought & Action, Official journal
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