When a prominent Indian politician said her political opponents had put a black magic spell on her, one of India’s largest Hindu TV stations invited Indian rationalist Sanal Edamaruku to debate black magic shaman Pandit Surinder Sharma on science and religion. That’s where it got interesting:
During the discussion, the tantrik showed a small human shape of wheat flour dough, laid a thread around it like a noose and tightened it. He claimed that he was able to kill any person he wanted within three minutes by using black magic. Sanal challenged him to try and kill him.
The tantrik tried. He chanted his mantras (magic words): “Om lingalingalinalinga, kilikili….” But his efforts did not show any impact on Sanal – not after three minutes, and not after five. The time was extended and extended again. The original discussion program should have ended here, but the “breaking news” of the ongoing great tantra challenge was overrunning all program schedules.
After nearly two hours, the anchor declared the tantrik’s failure. The tantrik, unwilling to admit defeat, tried the excuse that a very strong god whom Sanal might be worshipping obviously protected him. “No, I am an atheist,” said Sanal Edamaruku.
People of Indian origin are the most superstitious people on earth. We believe any stupid and silly thing that is told to us and if it is repeated a number of times, it becomes true. This is the reason why I detested my mother and mother-in-law trying to introduce a superstitious way to handle Rhea’s (my daughter) fear of monsters. The problem is that superstition is so ingrained in the Hindu mind that to flush it out would require more than stunts like the above. This stupid pundit will continue to leach off innocent people who will continue to believe what the pundit says and not what the evidence says.