The gruesome murder of two women as part of a black magic performance in Kerala should make the people of the state do a comprehensive analysis as to how they have brought one of the most progressive societies of India to this pass. As per recent reports, a black magician got a couple who practise native medicine to believe that their financial woes were being caused by a curse which human sacrifice would drive away. When the first murder failed to fulfil its purpose, the magician advised a second. The Kerala police, who began investigating a missing complaint, cracked the case in the following weeks using forensic evidence.
Kerala fought a heroic battle in the last 150 years against reactionary and regressive elements and made progress that no other Indian state can claim. Social reformers from all castes and communities played a part, and the movements they led took Kerala out of the “madhouse” that Swami Vivekananda once described the state as. The top rank Kerala now enjoys in several indices, starting from health to human development, is rooted in the rational society such movements fostered. Performing black magic and taking recourse to superstition will take Kerala back to the middle ages in no time.
Advertisements offering magical solutions to people’s problems, financial, health and personal, abound in Kerala. The operators are quite open about their modus operandi. This trend has not waned; instead, as time passes it only gets stronger. Even the latest tragedy can be traced back to a social media advertisement. It is time that the state government followed the example of Maharashtra and Karnataka passing a law against human sacrifice and black magic. It must also prod society to revisit and re-adopt the values of the renaissance movement. This is no isolated incident; let it be a wake-up call.