Superstition and Superstar

By Anwesha Banerjee and Pinaki Ghosh India, has made unbelievable progress in IT, science, and other areas. It will hardly happen that you will not come across an Indian doctor in Britain, or an Indian scientist in USA. Companies from the ‘developed countries’ now outsource their IT projects to India for good. MNCs give high priority to India to open their factories and outlets. India has topped in the rank of countries giving the highest salary hike. Jobs aren’t difficult to come by for the deserving candidates. Yet, something seems to have remained unchanged. No, we are not talking about the nasty politicians and votebank politics, but something more serious; superstition, or blind faith. India is essentially a country which is proud of its tradition, but the line between tradition and superstition is very thin. Often in name of tradition, what we practice is superstition. And when superstars get involved in practicing superstition, it becomes alarming for the society. But, thanks to superstars like Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai for setting a perfect wrong example before the public. When the rumour mill was working overtime on Aishwarya - Abhishek marriage, Big B Amitabh Bachchan’s brother went to Bangalore to meet their family astrologer only to find out whether the couple is a perfect match. The Astrologer uttered, "Aishwarya is mangalik" (unlucky for the husband; husband may face early death after marriage) so the marriage nearly took the backseat. To go get rid of the negativity of mangalik bride, the Bachchans along with Aishwarya went to Varanasi to perform a puja (worship) for nearly 4 hours (phew!). The reason? To do away with Mangaldosh, then Sidhhivinayak and something more. Mangaldosh (bad luck for the husband) must disappear before the marriage. These were extensively covered by media, so it has reached the homes of millions of people. What is alarming is that when a public icon like Amitabh Bachchan, with an international fanbase of millions; publicly practice this, it is bound to have a negative impact on public minds; encouraging millions to follow the path of superstition. If utter nonsense like Kundali, Mangalik, Horoscopes are projected in primetime through the Bachchans, it will spread like wild-fire. Mr Bachchan can give an excuse that it is his ‘personal faith’ and ‘family affair’. Great. But when you are a public icon, Mr. Bachchan, and your every step, movement, way of talking, dressing and laughing is copied by millions of people, your ‘personal faith’ is better kept back at home, and not in public view. Public icons, who are trendsetters, need to act much more responsibly before the society. Amitabh Bachchan also commented that he wanted to be a grandpa by seeing Abhi's SON! What a grandfatherly comment, Mr. Bachchan! You want to see a grandson; not a grand-daughter! India is leading in female foeticide and killing of the girl child. Yet such a comment from Mr. Bachchan only shows is lack of concern for the society. Undoubtedly, these things will inspire a section of people who will set the Bachchans and Aishwarya as example. We are not saying that if the Bachchans stay away from this, India not will overnight become a rational, progressive country, but when superstars like Amitabh Bachchan, or Sachin Tendulkar do these things, most of the people take cue from this and get an indirect support. Public figures must remember that their single activity or a comment can have vigorous effect on the masses, and can push the wheel of progress backwards.
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