Witch hunting in Assam: Strategising Alternative Media for Women Empowerment and Overcoming Superstition
By Joya Chakraborty and Anjuman Borah
Witch hunting is a superstitious practice that leads to the persecution and death of hunderds of women in India every year. This practice is prevalant in different parts of the country in various degrees and mostly single women and widows become targets of this least talked about violence on women. Empowerment of women and inculcation of scientific temper among the paople can be seen as the means to root out such practices from the society. The present paper anlyses the prevelance of this custom in Assam and through case study of the initiatives undertaken by Assam Mahila Samata Society (AMSS) towards rescue and rehabilitation of the victims, attempts to understand the role of alternative communication strategies in mitigation of the problem. It is observed that AMSS uses an interesting mix of awareness and capacity building activities through women’s collectives designed specifically to provide a grassroot support system within the communities.