The superstitious ‘smart’

Say hello to the breed of educated, supposedly “intelligent” people all around me. They get great grades. They study in reputed institutes in the fields of their choice. They represent the majority of the ‘youth of today’. They believe that you shouldn’t switch on the light in a room without opening the door first, because the ‘Goddess of wealth will not come inside if the door is open’. Of course, throw in the standard, one shouldn’t pass the salt directly, eat amla on Sundays, halt in your path if you sneeze(even if you are terribly late), go anywhere if you see a black cat, embark on an important task if there are three people (apparent remedy: carry a stone in your pocket so that it counts as a fourth member). All these may just be harmless, silly things, that some just view as fun, and say ‘What’s the harm in that?’

But what about those who think that one shouldn’t do anything about a man who harasses them inappropriately on the road every day on your way to the office, because that man happens to be a trangender and they think “Oh noess! What if he curses me? Their curses come true!!” Eclipses are well explained by science now. Why do people still believe that one shouldn’t consume any food during this time because of the “dangerous rays” and insist on bathing at odd hours of the night/morning ‘to wash those away’?

Will people learn to draw the line between something silly and something potentially dangerous? Also, is it really wise of us to just brush these off silliness on the part of people? Isn’t it a reflection on the primitive mindsets of people even in the age of information, and supposedly, ‘enlightenment’?

A huge chunk of our population is illiterate and still believes in superstitions and has blind faith, but when even those of us who are supposed to be educated, subscribe to such things, where is the scope of betterment?

Superstitions have evolved from primitive man’s need to understand the world in a better way, and seek patterns in the things that happened around them. Most of what we think and dismiss as irrational now, served some purpose in ancient society, but it is high time that people realize that the expiry date on such beliefs is long past. I do not see a way that we, as a society can progress if we our thinking is riddled with dogmas and blind beliefs. So, go ahead. It’s time to put your critical faculties to good use. Which superstition are you ditching today?

Sadhana Chaturvedula

I read a lot, and write a bit. Journalism, publishing, consumer tech, The Guide and signing up on social networks which I then proceed to never use are some of my passions.

Leave a Reply