Special Correspondent

Medical camps will be held to treat people claiming to be under the influence of black magic

A ‘Kala Jatha’ will be part of the campaign and will cover more than 50 villages

The jatha will cover two villages every day and will conclude on January 2

GULBARGA: The Karnataka State Science Academy, Bharata Jnana Vignana Samiti, Vignana Vedike and Banamati Nirmulana Janandolana Samiti will jointly launch an awareness campaign on the practice of black magic, known as “banamati”, which is prevalent in Gulbarga and Bidar districts. The campaign is targeted at people in rural areas in the two districts.

Pilot basis

Executive member of the Karnataka State Science Academy B.C. Soppin, district convener of Banamati Nirmulana Janandolana Samiti Ashok Jeevanagi, Samudaya president R.K. Hudgi, Meenakshi Bali and Shivasharana Mulegaon told presspersons that the Karnataka State Science Academy and Banamati Nirmulana Janandolana Samiti had decided to take up the campaign on a c.

Mr. Soppin said that the campaign was a continuation of an in-depth study conducted by a committee headed by the late H. Narasimhaiah and Chandrasekhar into the incidents of “banamati” in the two districts in the 1980s. The academy decided to take up the campaign again after a gap of more than 20 years in view of the rising number of cases of people claiming to be affected by “banamati” in these two districts.

Mr. Soppin said that there was no truth in the claims that “banamati” was real. He said it was proved on several occasions that the people who claimed to be under the spell of “banamati” were in fact suffering from diseases and psychological disorders, which could be treated.

The samiti did not agree with the Andhra Pradesh Government’s practice of taking the help of practitioners of black magic to fight banamati. According to the samiti, “banamati” was only a myth and could be fought only by creating awareness among the public.

Mr. Soppin said the campaign in Gulbarga and Bidar districts would include holding medical camps in all the taluk headquarters and in some of the bigger villages to provide treatment to people who believed they were under the influence of “banamati”.

The campaign will be inaugurated on Monday at Gobbur village in Afzalpur taluk by Deputy Commissioner Pankajkumar Pandey. A “Kala Jatha”, which will be a part of the campaign, will travel to every nook and corner of the district, covering more than 50 villages. A drama, “Banamatiya Bangadi Purana”, penned by Prof. Hudgi and directed by Ashok Shetgar will be staged.

The jatha will cover two villages every day and will conclude on January 2 with a performance at the supermarket in Gulbarga city. It will later leave for Bangalore to participate in the State-level cultural meet against the practice of black magic in different forms.

Mr. Soppin said that since women were the major victims of “banamati”, the emphasis would be on creating awareness among them, particularly the downtrodden and economically weaker sections by organising “Mahila Samavesha” throughout the district.