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The dangers of extreme beliefs: how superstition corrupts spirituality

India is full of so-called “holy men” who encourage dangerous ideas and practices

The dangers of extreme beliefs: how superstition corrupts spirituality

India is full of so-called “holy men” who encourage dangerous ideas and practices

The dangers of extreme beliefs: how superstition corrupts spirituality

India is full of so-called “holy men” who encourage dangerous ideas and practices

The dangers of extreme beliefs: how superstition corrupts spirituality

India is full of so-called “holy men” who encourage dangerous ideas and practices

Blind faith mixed with extremism can lead to tragedy.

In January 2021 a couple from Andhra Pradesh murdered their two adult daughters in an occult ritual to cleanse the girls of evil spirits.

Purushottam and Padmaja Naidu had consulted a holy man for advice the previous day. Subba Ramaiah, a tantrik, visited the house and performed pujas with the family, giving them amulets to wear. Although both parents were in a hysterical state the following day and had clearly been in a kind of trance when they carried out the killing, the tantrik claims that they were both of sound mind during his visit. He also says that he saw a strange man blowing a conch shell near the ear of Alekhya, the elder daughter.

Whether or not you believe in evil spirits or apparitions with conches is not the question. The question is why this couple - who must have been in a desperate state - would place their trust in a so-called holy man.

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