Narendra Dabholkar, the great rationalist, was a prophet much ahead of his time (Op-Ed, “Sorry doctor, we didn’t deserve you,” Aug.28). Justice Markandey Katju was not wrong when he said that a vast majority of Indians are ignorant. I recollect a saying by Sutherland: “A nation of sheep will, in time, beget a government of wolves.” India has its fair share and more of babas, miracle gurus, spiritual guides and politicians to lead the gullible astray and keep them in thrall for long.
The relentless crusade against the practice of mindless and meaningless practices/superstitions is laudable, with no second opinion about it. However, to bracket all religious (and even spiritual) beliefs under the category of superstition may not be entirely correct. Such erroneous interpretations/misgivings are the result of warped thinking by so-called rationalists. The writers have made needless reference to the belief/faith in aspects of Hindu worship — Saturn — among youth. Unfortunately, in their over-enthusiasm, they have not understood or have overlooked the dividing line between personal faith/attendant practices and superstitious practices which affect others.
Avowed religious practices or rituals followed by society with absolute commitment do not constitute superstition.
Incidentally, why have the writers cited a few practices prevalent among Hindus alone? Does it mean that they accept practices by other communities as being rational, wise and void of superstition?