Comparing The Witch Hunts Of India And Historical Salem

1035 words - 4 pages

Bloodlust shone in their eyes, the anticipation of the sickly intriguing spectacle to come enthralled them, while their murmurings grew louder and louder until it became a primeval roar of wants and expectations. Atrocities of such a nature became very common under the pretense of the persecution of witches. The New King James Bible states that: “You shall not permit a sorceress [witch] to live” (Exodus 22:17). Using these words as excuses, societies such as the Puritans executed untold numbers of people in the name of justice. These series of persecutions began the witch hunts. Usually, brutal torture, imprisonment, or death awaited those accused of witchcraft. Imagine if such atrocities became regular occurrences for the ‘modern day’ societies around the globe. In India these witch hunts occur frequently and without consequence. Witch hunts occur in rural Indian societies, with no real access to knowledge or authority. The Salem depicted in George Millers The Crucible, shared many resemblances to its Indian counterpart. Relatively secluded societies with no real access to knowledge besides what they already determined for themselves, and a distinctive lack of plausible authority. The Indian and Salem witch hunts share extremely similar physical characteristics and social implications, yet the motives behind their executions may differ.
The results of witch hunts, such as social implications, usually bring about many unforeseen events and consequences. For example, countless numbers of peoples, estimated in the tens of thousands, died due to the accusation of witchcraft. These people “face humiliations, torture and banishment” (Prasad 1-2) simply because of the accusation of witchcraft under (usually) false charges. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, one of the most profound philosophers who lived in the age of revolution believed that: “humans are fundamentally good”. Therefore it becomes improbable to believe that tens of thousands of people simply sold their souls to the devil. By the same token, it becomes even more unlikely that the tens of thousands of people who prosecuted the ‘witches’ possessed such malicious intent. Instead, an analysis of the situation may provide the insinuation that some act of catastrophe or unexplainable origin occurred. Such an event could change human behavior, and possibly their very nature in such a way that they would prosecute innocent peoples. In almost all cases of witch hunts “Witches are blamed for losses of crops, diseases, epidemic and all other bad lucks.” (Fleishman 1) Witch hunts that occur in this manner result in nothing less than multiple deaths, paranoia, and chaos. Witch hunts usually begin with the intent to dispel evil in all of its forms. However it mutates into a tool of revenge and pain used by people corrupted by society. In this way, witch hunts grow out of control into a barbaric and primeval spectacle, untimely in humanities fascination with it.
Although they may...

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