Panaji: Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat`s much publicised visit to see a `miraculously` discovered antique Ganesh idol has invited the ire of a leading anti-superstition group in the state.
The department of information and publicity Wednesday evening bombarded media organisations with official press notes and photographs of Kamat`s visit to the Chodankar home in Parra, a small village in north Goa, where an old brass idol was found.
The convenor of the Goa chapter of the Eradication of Superstition committee, Yadneshwar Nigalye, accused Kamat of acting irresponsibly and using state government machinery to promote superstition.
Kamat Wednesday visited the house in Parra, 15 km from here, where an ancient idol was unearthed after a 17-year-old girl Pooja Chodankar `dreamt` about its presence there.
"It is ridiculous of the chief minister to behave in this fashion. He is endorsing superstition using government money. How can gods appear in your dreams and say there`s an idol under the floor of your house?" Nigalye, a renowned anti-superstition activist, told reporters.
He has been conducting camps against superstitions and exposing fake `miracle` conjuring religious leaders for several decades now.
Nigalye said there was no scientific basis to divine communication in one`s sleep.
"There are scientific and psychological aspects involved," he said, adding that it wasn`t the first time that Kamat had publicly endorsed superstition.
"Three years ago in his constituency, there was another `miracle` in a temple dedicated to Lord Vitthal at Margao, with reports that the deity`s hair had turned `white`," he said.
"Thousands thronged there, including this gentleman (Kamat). Kamat called it a `chamatkar` (miracle). Only after a while, it was discovered that the priest had poured curd on the deity`s head and had forgotten to wash it with water subsequently," Nigalye added.
The activist said the chief minister "should draw a line between personal faith and using the state machinery to pander to superstition".
"Why government departments should be used to promote superstition like this," Nigalye asked.