Lessons on witchcraft for Assam schoolchildrenNovember 19th, 2008 - 3:35 pm ICT by IANS
Guwahati, Nov 19 (IANS) Little children in Assam may soon learn lessons on witchcraft in school - to combat superstitious beliefs that lead to a large number of people being hounded to death in the northeast every year. The idea of introducing lessons on ‘dayan pratha’ or witchcraft in primary school was mooted by the National Commission for Women (NCW).
“The idea behind introducing ‘dayan pratha’ in primary schools is to bring about awareness from an early age to do away with the primitive practice of witchhunting based on superstitious beliefs,” Niva Konwar, NCW member, said.
At least 300 people have been killed by rural mobs in the past five years for allegedly practicing witchcraft in Assam and Tripura.
“Such gruesome killings have sent the very basis of human rights for a toss,” said Birubala, an elderly Rabha tribal woman and a frontline rights campaigner.
Superstitious beliefs, black magic and demonology are integral to tribal customs in parts of Assam, Tripura and other northeastern states. Several tribal communities believe these can be used to treat ailments or cast evil spells on adversaries.
The NCW has asked police to ensure that cases of witch-hunting are recorded at the earliest.
“The law enforcing agencies and society at large should launch a vigorous campaign to fight this social evil,” said Mridula Saharia, chairperson of the Assam Women Commission.
Assam police have also intensified its special drive to curb this social crime.
Codenamed Project Prahari, the crusade includes community policing measures, besides regular awareness campaigns among tribal chiefs and village elders.
The police campaign is now focusing on educating villagers and holding meetings in areas dominated by tribal people where this primitive practice of witchcraft is still going strong.
“We need to bring about a change in our attitude rather than trying to enforce the law. We have to create awareness about this social evil to stop such barbaric incidents from taking place,” Assam Inspector General of Police Kula Saikia said.
- Another Assam woman killed for suspected witchcraft - Apr 18, 2011
- Four killed in Assam, witchcraft suspected - Jun 21, 2011
- Six members of a family hacked to death - Dec 13, 2009
- Tribal woman killed for suspected witchcraft in Tripura - Feb 11, 2012
- Single women victims of witch-hunt in tribal Assam - Nov 02, 2011
- 'Approach high courts for action against witchhunts' - Mar 12, 2010
- 'Witch hunting' on the rise in Assam - Mar 29, 2012
- Crusade against withcraft by street plays in Jharkhand - Mar 07, 2010
- Tripura couple accused of sorcery commit suicide - Sep 11, 2008
- Assam sexagenarian vows to save witch-hunt victims - May 19, 2012
- Four of family charged with practising witchcraft, lynched - Jun 10, 2008
- Family charged with practising witchcraft lynched in Assam - Oct 18, 2008
- Man kills brother over land tensions, witchcraft - Nov 01, 2011
- British police to be trained to spot sorcery - Apr 28, 2012
- Two men arrested for sacrificing minor girl - Jan 02, 2012