Modern-day Witch Beatings

“We have found a witch.  May we burn her?’ began the classic scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

“I’m not a witch.  I’m not a witch,” replied the accused witch.

We’re in the 21st Century and it is hard to fathom that witch hunts are still occurring.  We had heard about Thomas Muthee who actually ‘defeated’ a Kenyan witch and had placed his hands on Sarah Palin and prayed that she be free from witchcraft.

wicked-witchAny time I see these types of stories, I am reminded of Monty Python, Betwitched, the Wicked Witch, and Alvin and the Chipmunks.

I guess this story is slightly different.  Villagers in a central India tribal area apparently beat 50 alleged witches with sticks.  After beating these women, the villagers cut off their hair. 

The article says that ‘the villagers acted on the advice of a local spiritual man who said the assault would protect them from evil spirits.’ 

Wouldn’t you love to meet this local spiritual man?  Is he anything like the Rev. Muthee?  I wonder if he has spent too much time smoking the spiritual stick.  And what is up with these 50 lemmings?  Common sense suggests that assault does not ward off evil spirits just as tossing nerds overboard in the Atlantic Ocean will not rid you of said nerds. 

Right Ogre?

In case you wondered, we are talking about the same India where the majority of our customer service centers seem to be located.  Many IT jobs are located over there as well and those Indians who were seeking slightly more adventure and money came to the U.S. to claim an additional batch of IT jobs. 

bewitchedYet dozens of women are killed each year ‘on suspicion of being witches or witch doctors in India, where superstition is widespread, especially in rural areas that lack an effective schooling system.’

Lack an effective schooling system?  You think?

While there are few killings in Chhattisgarh, more than 100 women are tortured, paraded naked or harassed in the state every year, officials say.

“Police have begun a probe and interrogated dozens of villagers who hosted a nine-day purification ceremony where they forcibly cut the hair of about 50 women branding them witches and also beat them up publicly,” Radheshyam Nayak, a senior state police officer, told Reuters.

So what is being done about this?

In 2005 Chhattisgarh passed a Witchcraft (Prevention) Act.   You may wish to take that in for a moment.

The Witchcraft Act was intended to reduce the number of witch hunts by imprisoning offenders for up to 5 years.  I can tell that it is working.

Chhattisgarh’s Chief Minister Raman Singh called the latest assault “inhuman, unfortunate and shameful” and asked the state’s police chief to investigate the case, a statement said.

Inhuman.  Unfortunate.  Shameful.  How about archaic?

What is going on with our planet when we read stories about witches and pirates in current events?  I heard that the Visigoths and Huns are about to go to war.

Source:  Police Probe Assault on 50 witches

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3 responses to “Modern-day Witch Beatings

  1. This is the same country that throws the widow out of her home when her husband dies. She has to live on the street as a begger. Indians also prefer male children and will abort females. What has happened is that there are not enough adult females in the population for all the males.

  2. I lived in India for 1 year. They’re not all barbarians. And there are many uneducated rural people who lead quite pious and loving lives, even while some are practically starving. Yes, they have their problems, and certainly this bizarre witchhunting is something abnormal, but I’d hate to see the statistics on rape and certain violent crimes in this country as compared to other third world countries. We’re supposed to be the advanced sophisticated ones. And then of course our witchhunting is more subtle, like the Mormons and the “Christians” who go after gay rights.

  3. You make great points, Bruce. I work in IT and have known people from India almost my entire professional career. One person, in particular, lives in a rural region and commuted 4 hours EACH WAY by train to get to the office in the city.

    I have heard about some of what Cats was saying but was also told that it was less commonplace now.

    And you are correct, our witches and witch hunters go by different names.