Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Super Comedy of the Superstition of "Evil-Eye"

I was getting bored. Tried to kill time by watching TV. Nothing interesting was on any of the usual channels (Sports, News, Music, etc). As I was surfing channels, it came across & I was jolted from my semi slumber and left exclaiming "VOILA!" There it was! A wonderful comedy show, which left me in peels of laughter. It could easily have been one of the best comedies had it not been for the dangers that it promoted.

I am talking about a paid television commercial trying to sell (read as "dupe people") something called "NAZAR SURAKSHA KAWACH". Try watching it (if you haven't already done so). I assure you that you wouldn't have watched anything funnier in a long while!

"Nazar Suraksha Kawach" can be loosely translated as "Evil-Eye Protecting Shield". The advertisement itself was damn hilarious. There were, as usual, ANECDOTAL EXPERIENCES (which NEVER count as proper evidence).

So, whenever anybody tries to tell you something based on only anecdotal evidences become alert and ask them to either show empirical evidence or stop the crap then and there!]

Some scenarios were introduced which were supposedly validating the dumb ass idea of Nazar (Evil eye) like:
-          Scratches on a newly purchased car.
-          Setbacks in studies for students.
-          Unforeseen impediments in residing in a newly constructed house.

The dramatization was damn funny. The best part was the ease with which anyone could have fathomed how the actors overacted their parts; far more than what they might have been paid for! :-)

Check out the following themes.

-          A lady narrates her anecdote of how her hubby's business was suffering, ALLEGEDLY because of some evil eye cast by another lady; BUT soon after using the Nazar Suraksha Kawach, the trend reversed! ;-)
-          A lass, who gets engaged to a well-to-do groom, finds her fiancĂ© rejecting the alliance and her marriage almost annihilated, ALLEGEDLY because of some evil eye cast by another lady; BUT soon after using the Nazar Suraksha Kawach, the marriage is restored & she gets married to the same gent! ;-)
-          Next, a real estate agent was enduring a southward dip in his profits & getting into a debt trap (Obviously because of evil eye- Nazar) BUT soon after using the Nazar Suraksha Kawach, he got back into profit! ;-)
-          Mothers talking about their kids who got sick ALLEGEDLY because of some evil eye cast by others; BUT soon after using the Nazar Suraksha Kawach, the health was restored! ;-) [I wonder why I must continue to be a pediatrician, treating sick children? Why do we need doctors? Will these dumb folks accept a prescription for a Nazar Suraksha Kawach from a doctor (or even a prescription of Kandhar Sashti Kavacham recital, gita discourse, koran recital, bible recital, etc. for that matter)? Doctors can have a tie up with the manufacturers of Nazar Suraksha Kawach, other holy yantras, etc., Special sandhanam, kungumam, vibuthi, holy water, black magic amulets (thaayathu), etc & subsidize it for the people too. Why don’t the manufacturers & the dumb users of such bullshit discuss it with the government to abandon all costly immunization programmes & begin a programme to distribute such crap devices to all kids?!! It sure can help the government save a lot of money.] Incidentally, they show the usual methods of warding off the evil eye like SALT+CHILLY rotation around the victim (Sutthi podaradhu), Placing a knife, kajal/mai dot on the face, tying threads & other equally bizarre & funny rituals as having been ineffective and only the Nazar Suraksha Kawach being effective. So, can we then use their own standards of relying on anecdotal evidence & conclude that “All the people have been having it wrong thus far with regard to techniques of warding off the ALLEGED evil eye?” :-)
There are special effects galore! :-) Victims being attacked by red laser beams emanating from the eyes of the ones casting the evil eye! :-)
Awesome graphics, right? Ha ha ha… How disgustingly cheap!!! Grrrr...
But once the Nazar suraksha kawach is used the rays will be blocked by a blue shield around the user! :-)
Go on… Laugh your ass off. I will hold on for a while here…
They then explain the alleged facts about the evil eye and how it can be harnessed by someone to channelize evil to befall on others. They try to use the idea of scriptures & other “ancient wisdom” - Now this term is one of the biggest oxymorons ever (together with True-God, Peaceful-Religion, Gospel-Truth, etc)
They even have a very funny segment where (allegedly) a scientist (he is more of a joker really) allegedly provides scientific proof validating the idea! Ha ha ha ha ha… 
They only showed a fellow who was supposedly a “Research Analyst” who spouted out some crap (obviously for the money that he would have got). I am sure that his only research would have involved scratching his chin thoughtfully analyzing the anecdotes mentioned above and arriving at the predetermined conclusion that evil eye exists and it can ONLY be warded off by the Nazar Suraksha Kawach! :-)

These crap (& costly- this one is Rs.2500/-!!! There are plenty of such Kawach-s and Yantra-s to sucker the gullible mindless believers in gods & other such dumb ass superstitions!) artifacts won’t ward off any evil eye, etc – BECAUSE THERE IS NOTHING LIKE EVIL EYE, etc- but it sure will ward your hard earned money off your wallet! And for the few rational people these advertisements sure would help ward off the stress carried over a busy day! You can watch these comedy shows daily before retiring to bed for a peaceful sleep or you can start your day with these comedy shows to reminisce the whole day or narrate to others around & keep laughing. :-)
The superstition of EVIL EYE is nothing but another classic example of Post Hoc fallacy. (It happened after, so it follows.) Finding a causal association where none exists. When the bulb glows after the switch is turned on, there is a causal association; but the sun rising AFTER the cock crows?!! You get the point, right? :-)

Shame on TV channels who allow such dangerous, superstitious contents on their channel just for money. Now what else can you expect from the media who promote astrology, horoscopy, tarot cards, homeopathy, etc? These are people who won’t mind selling their mothers & wives for money!
There are a hell of a lot of cunning tricksters in India ready to prey on the credulity of the superstitious folks and unfortunately the gullible people become their victims. (borrowing the idea from Prof. Dan Dennet's "Breaking The Spell: Religion as A Natural Phenomenon") Such silly superstitions are the main reason why people fall into the clutches of cult leaders (Kalki bagawan, Amma bagawan, Sathya Sai Baba, Nithyananda, Premananda, Amritanandamayi, Baba Ramdeo, etc) & are duped into giving their lifesavings to such cunning con artists.

As I often say, "All superstitions happen because of 4 factors":

1.       FEAR: People are afraid to risk the alleged mishap that they’re brainwashed to believe will befall them if such & such a thing is not done. The rationale being “Why take a chance?” If you don’t do THIS, then you’ll face misfortune, etc. :-)
2.       IGNORANCE: This is the greatest impediment to peace & progress. When you’re ignorant of how the world works, you can pretty much fall for any bullshit. As long as there are ignorant suckers waiting to be duped, con artists will flourish to sucker them! When you are ignorant of the fact that there is nothing like black magic, evil spirits, gods, ghosts, ghouls, poltergeists, etc. any wicked charlatan can take you for a ride!
3.       GRIEF: Ever noticed how superstitions always flourish during times of grief? When you’re ill/ suffering setbacks/ going to take an exam ;-), etc. you always want to pray to god, try some lucky charm, perform some ritual that you perceive will help, wear some amulet, etc.
4.       GREED: But of course! Most people are never content- MORE IS NEVER ENOUGH for them. This naturally gives rise to superstitions again.

You are a fool to go after these products or believe in such superstitions. Build some self confidence, read good books/ listen to good lectures or audiobooks/ see good documentaries & ACQUIRE KNOWLEDGE, learn to always be rational, practical & cheerful and you would be better off in this world.

And finally, just imagine yourself walking around wearing an anti-Evil Eye amulet believing you can bounce evil vision-beams off others’ eyes to make them turn around. Won't you feel dumb? And won’t the others around laugh out loud at you & your silly antics & silly beliefs?!! :-)

As always, please make use of (Click here) THE BALONEY DETECTION KIT! (click here) In fact, take a printout & always keep this with you to analyze any claim made to you or assumption made by you yourself.


  1. Great job Gunny boy. I did comment earlier in the day. But somehow my comment doesn't appear out here !

  2. Good post. When I see those programmes in Vijay TV, I am really surprised how gullible people are and how easy it is for these frauds to make money. If only people would ask some very basic questions.....

  3. Ganesh, I think the "Just world theory" is most important factor for usage of such fake trinkets. I have seen sane and rational people use this stuff when it comes to their kids etc. Somewhere the mindset that: this way I am doing "something", makes us feel better, howmuchever useless that might be. People need to be trained in accepting the fact that somethings are beyond their control, for e.g. their baby might fall sick even if they took a lot of care.

    1. Yep. But it stems from basic gullibility. People must be empowered with knowledge.
      Knowledge and love... These are two things that one can never divide by sharing among many. We can only multiply it by sharing :-)

      Like Carl Sagan said, "CREDULITY KILLS!"
      It's most suitable in the despicable act of medical quackery.

      That's why the last paragraph-
      As always, please make use of (Click here) THE BALONEY DETECTION KIT! (click here) In fact, take a printout & always keep this with you to analyze any claim made to you or assumption made by you yourself.

      - Ganesh V