Comparing the Witch Hunts of India and Historical Salem

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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 charge...

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...lusion, the Indian and Salem witch hunts may share extremely similar physical characteristics and social implications but differ in their motives and executions. Both witch hunts share in the classic aspects of witch hunts, barbarity, paranoia, and all of the other things humanity deems necessary to create one of our great tragedies. But, to look back on it in our civilized society it becomes necessary to ask ourselves whether the choice we would make is not as superficial as theirs.

Works Cited

Exodus. The Orthodox Study Bible. New York: Thomas Nelson Inc, 2008. Print

Fleishman, Joe. “Modern-day witch hunting in India.” American Chronicle 5 June 2009: 1. Electronic.

Prasad, Raekha. “Witch Hunt.” 21 March 2007: 3. Electronic.

Saxena, Swati. “Recourse Rare for Witch Hunt Victims in India.” Womens Day 16 July 2007: 3. Electronic.
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