Entrepreneur and Vishwa Hindu Parishad functionary Girish Bharadwaja has lodged a complaint against an event promoting exorcism in Bengaluru. Bharadwaja posted a copy of the complaint he has sent to the Foreigners Regional Registration Centre in Bengaluru alleging that as evangelists and exorcists will be addressing the event, it will be violating Indian visa rules and other acts.
The event, a course on exorcism, is being organised by Bengaluru based Light of Christian Covenant Community from 13th to 19th October. The main address will be delivered by a father from Malta, while participants from Dubai, Malaysia, Rome and Singapore are expected to attend the event.
Exorcism refers to a practice of evicting demons or evil spirits from a person, or an area, that is supposed to be possessed by such demons. In Christianity, some members of the church are believed to be graced with special powers to evict demons.
Girish Bharadwaja has mentioned that the event violates Indian Visa norms for foreigners, as preaching or propagating is not allowed in India under any visa category, and no visa is granted to evangelists who desire to come to India to attend religious campaigns.
— Girish Bharadwaja (@Girishvhp) October 14, 2019
The schedule 15 of the general policy guidelines relating to India visa says, “preaching religious ideologies, making speeches in religious places, distribution of audio or visual display/ pamphlets pertaining to religious ideologies, spreading conversion etc. will not be allowed.” Moreover, the rules for issuing Missionary Visa says, “a Missionary visa is granted to a foreigner whose sole objective of visiting India is Missionary work not involving proselytization. Visa shall NOT be granted to preachers and evangelists who desire to come to India on propaganda campaigns, whether on their own or at the invitation of any organization in India.”
Bharadwaja also mentions that the exorcism event violates the Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Act, commonly known as the anti-superstition act. According to the act, it is illegal to exploit people in the name of black magic and evil spirit, and to convince people that they have been possessed evil spirits. The law makes it illegal to create an impression that someone has supernatural power to get rid of such demons, and all practices and rituals have been banned to remove such so-called demons.