Say No To Godmen, Mantras, Magic, Chants In Coronavirus Times

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Saffron, the colour of sanctity, is associated with religious abstinence, the quest for light and salvation. The self-styled gurus in India have been using the purity of saffron as a mask to win the trust of the Indians. Hailed as the reincarnations of gods, the ‘babas’ make prophecies and tend to provide the solutions to all the problems. Almost all of these godmen have a cult following that ensues blind faith in them and sustains them on their white lies.

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At the time when the novel coronavirus has grappled the world by its teeth, people are seeking the cure in religion, in mantras, in lucky charms, in the preachings of the gurus they believe in. Myths have been surfacing the media while people have been blindfolded and are trusting baseless assertions. In the state of panic, many often lose their rationale and give in to unproven solutions instead of strictly abiding by the precautions and medical advisories. For many, the current position of the celestial objects is the reason for the world falling apart in the face of a global pandemic.

Days of chanting

Even before, the virus had reached India, videos doing the rounds on social media claimed that Nithyananda, a godman currently on the run from Indian authorities and the subject of an Interpol Blue Corner notice, had a cure for the coronavirus. Guess what this cure was? A two-day-long event of chanting mantras that could create spiritual energy and counter the outbreak. A medical condition as serious as being declared a global pandemic that does not have a vaccine can be eradicated by sitting together and reciting mantras. It doesn’t seem logical at least at a time when the only way to contain the transmission of the deadly virus is to avoid going to gatherings.

Lucky charms

We are all quite aware of the talismans that contain the “power to battle whatever may come”, once curated by the divine godmen. And, apparently, the ‘Corona wale baba‘ in Uttar Pradesh was selling such charms for Rs. 11 each, and could forge many with unsubstantiated affirmations, duping innocents. Had it been this easy to fight against the contagion, the superpower nations would not have been gripped with the fear.

Magic over science

In the initial days when the virus hit India, people started coming up with their tricks and tips to shield against the spread of the virus. Suman Haripriya, a political figure, said that cow urine and cow dung could be used to combat the outbreak. Chakrapani Maharaj, a Hindu leader had said that he would be organizing an event to educate people on the use of cow products to fight the disease. Cows are holy animals and Indians have cultural sentiments and thus many could easily trust these claims however there are no proofs for the same. Baba Ramdev said that Ayurveda has the needed remedies, which yet again lacks evidence.

The prevalence of pseudoscience has worried scientists over the years and is adding to the fright of the already fast-spreading virus.

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Saavriti is an intern with SheThePeople.TV. Views are the author’s own