Witch Hunting and Cultural Sublimation in India – Victimogenisis

  • Tanisha Sharma
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  • Tanisha Sharma

    Student at Delhi Metropolitan Education, GGSIPU, India

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As the mob furiously blitz towards trio of three woman calling them ‘Daakan’ Gujarati word for witch, those weak women fell on ground in order to save their lives they try to cover themselves. The mob encircles them. One of the woman takes three consecutive blows by iron rod on her arm knowing that she broke one of her bone. Madhuben and Susilaben tried to save their lives from the mob of men but failed too. As two young men of that village died a rumour was spread that these women were practicing witch craft and were feasting on their souls. This was one of the attack reported in 2014 from a remote village located in Gujarat. Often called as ‘Dayan’ or ‘Chudail’, Beta khauki (the son eater), Adam khauki (man eater), Bisahin (the poisonous women) and ‘Tohni’. Woman have been subjected to abuse and murder in India which is a land of beliefs. This paper explores how culture and belief surpasses reality, morality, Justice and laws. Before reason and logic- supernatural beings, gods, demons, black magic and divination continues to wrap people in its influence to such an extent that it shades the thin line between belief and superstitions. For example you can see lemon and green chillies tied in a string to the doors in almost every Indian household to avert “Buri Nazar’’ or one can say to prevent any misfortune. Not to cut nails after sunset, Saturdays are considered to be inauspicious and evil. More than scientific facts and logic society prefers to go buy these ‘Totkas’. Now the question before us is why do majority of people in Indian society continue to believe in such superstations? As my main arguments with this question concludes that reason and logic means absence of superstitions and dogma. The aim is to understand the conflicting idea of victim and perpetrator as there is a foreplay of gender, power and conflict of identities as to who is Victim and who the perpetrator is. Its historical significance and relation with the Indian culture, witch hunting is a practice that is embedded in roots of Indian cultural beliefs that stems the behaviour of the rural masses. With this we need to understand why Indian culture started practicing witch hunts, what does the term witch mean as per Indian society? The research will include cases and sources that give evidences of witch hunts in Indian society of 21st century. And an analytical dive into its effect on society keeping an eye on the particular gender targeted for witch hunts. Witch hunting as a social, religious and political phenomenon. Also the factors involved in its existence even today. It will also study the scope of legislative actions that covers witch hunt at an international, national and state arena.




International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 4, Issue 2, Page 1954 - 1966

DOI: http://doi.one/10.1732/IJLMH.26447

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