A social evil of our society- witch hunts

          Our country Nepal had reduced many social evils as it transformed into a democratic country. But still quite a few evils are prevailing in our societies. One of them is witch hunts. 
Witch hunts have been practiced in our society for a very long time. It is the practice of accusing someone as a witch in our society then causing torture to them in form of getting the evil spirit out of their bodies. The witch doctor (priests or shamans) take money from the people that accuse the victim of being a witch, then they do many things to give them pain. The victims are mainly weak, poor, helpless, free-spirited, lower caste,etc. types of women. The victims are beaten, paraded naked, force-fed on human excretion, forced to inhale fumes of burning chillies,etc. The victims can also get killed in the process, burned alive or even beaten to death. The people that accuse someone are mainly after their property or they are blaming them to reduce the pain of losing someone or somebody being sick. The worst treatment is given to widows cause they are suspected to kill their own husbands. They are mainly accused so the other house members can prevent the widow from getting her husband's money. 
         There are hundreds of cases about witch hunts occurring in the neighborhood or somewhere else but, a very few have been investigated and given punishment to the culprits. There are at least a few people among a thousand that believe in witch hunts. Their have been cases reported where high positioned people or a political members were involved in. Those types of cases mainly are closed due to their power. 
         Some cases that we know about are: 
2009- A woman in far western tarai was accused of being a witch. She was dragged from her house then fed on human waste then paraded naked. The news reported was about this case but the police refused to register it and suggested the problem should be solved within the community. 
2010-A dalit 47 years old woman was accused of being a witch and making a school teacher sick. The women was forced to admit that she was a witch. She was fed on human waste and tortured for two days without food in a cowshed. 
2012-A 40 year old widow was burned by a shaman in front of her 9 year old daughter. 8 people were charged of murder of the 40 year old woman, after accusing her of being a  witch and using her powers to keep her relatives sick. 
2013-A 45 year old woman was beaten to death by her neighbors after being accused of being a witch and keeping a girl sick. The police didn't register the case cause it was Saturday. The other day all the culprits fled from the place never to be caught again. 

          There have been many cases till now where the culprits fled from Nepal or the cases are not registered. Our country can be freed from such social evils if we all are educated and taught about the harm it does to us. We can prevent such things to happen in the future if we do the following things:
Provide education to to people and built a free-public school for poor people.
• Hold meetings and arrange programmes for spreading awareness. 
• Create strict rules for the culprits that commit such crimes. 
          I hope social evils like witch hunts and others don't ever occur in Nepal or any other place.                                                        

Written by:-Shisan Thapa Magar

No comments: