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Witch branding
ISHA SHARMA | 24 Feb 2011

Government and our legal system has been trying to improves woman status in the society but it the scene has not improved but sadly detiorated.

 What happens when you mix the freshness of morning dew, the colours of rainbow, and the music of Rivulet and the sparkle of a distant star? Surely you’ll get a woman. God’s masterpiece who keeps his world going. She stands where nobody else can-At the epicentre of the hope and stand tall outside her threshold as a looming figure for the society. We have Women in all spheres representing every sphere of India. Kalpana Chawla,Mother Teresa,Jwala Gutta,Indira Gandhi,Women are in all spheres fighting neck to neck battling to survive and make their presence felt in India. India is a society where the male is greatly revered. A woman is the full circle. 

Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.
According India’s constitution, women are legal citizens of the country and have equal righhts with men (Indian Parliament). Because of lack of acceptance from the male dominant society, Indian women suffer immensely. Women are responsible for baring children, yet they are malnourished and in poor health. Women are also overworked in the field and complete the all of the domestic work. Most Indian women are uneducated.  Although the country’s constitution says women have equal status to men, women are powerless and are mistreated inside and outside the home. But since Independence there have been several pests of society which have been continuously. Sati-System, Dowry system,female infanticide,female foeticide,Child marriage,and uncountable other orthodoxical beliefs related to women which directly or indirectly have been affecting Women’s Emancipation programme in some way or another.

Now another women related issue which has not been come to noticed to masses yet is the issue of Plight of women in India- “Witch branding”.

Witch branding is the phenomena of violence against women is branding them as witch. Its rather disgusting and disappointing that the same WOMEN which gives birth to a new life can be called a witch too.Scores of women are regularly killed on charges of witchcraft across the county. This largely happens in states like Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal annually. Women mostly widows are beaten, often paraded in the village and sometimes forced to eat excrete. According to a recent report by NGO -Association for Social and Human Activities, between 2001 and 2008,452 women were killed in Jharkhand. Jharkhand’s economic backwardness and a low literacy rate of 53.6% and 38.9% for women have led to prevalence of superstition, illiteracy and violence against women. Even the death of an animal becomes a source for condemning some poor woman as a witch or dayan.Often it is an excuse to grab property or settle scores with someone. The main women who fall an easy prey to this are the helpless uneducated village women. And to more dismay there’s no one to their rescue and their cries and Screams remain unattended forever. What was her crime? She was accused of bringing misfortune to others in the village as a practitioner of “Dayan Pratha,” known in rural India as the practice of witchcraft. Today ostracism and severe violence against women accused of witchcraft is occurring at an alarming rate in the village regions of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, along with numerous other rural regions in India.

Why is women being subjected to such state of violent attacks...isn’t the HOUSE ATTACK where the Indian women are just imprisoned not physically but psychologically in the constraints of the 4 walls of their homes where they are meant just to REAR and BEAR their husbands and children. There’ no doubt that condition of women has improvised in India to an extent that now women can raise their voices against injustice but after looking deeply into both the sides of the same coin..These efforts by the authorities seems negligible and lost. Its high time that people realise that if god has bestowed women with power of generating and producing LIFE..On the same hand she has her own weapons by which she can break all her tolerance levels and create an air of change for them. Though Jharkhand has witchcraft prevention Act under which the maximum punishment is a one year imprisonment, its implementation is still awaited. Lack of access to justice is cited as one of the main reasons for not availing it .The other reasons being distance and attitude of people.