08/22/2013, 00.00
NEPAL-INDIA

Nepal, anti-witchcraft activists 'terrified' after murder of Narendra Dabholkar

Kalpit Parajuli
The murder of the Indian, who fought against black magic, leads activists to fear for their safety. In Nepal fake witchcraft is widespread and targets mainly the elderly and widows. In August, five women forced to drink urine and ingest human feces.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - Fear and terror is rife among Nepalese activists fighting against the false practice of witchcraft and black magic, after the assassination of Indian Narendra Dabholkar. The man was murdered on August 20 for always having criticized this kind of superstition. After his death, the Maharashtra yesterday approved an anti-black magic law, the first in India.

In Nepal, the issue is very sensitive, because some practices and superstitions belonging to the Hindu tradition are still widespread, affecting mostly women - usually elderly or single - of the most vulnerable ethnic or social groups. According to local NGOs, in August at least five women were accused of witchcraft and forced to drink urine and ingest human feces.

Dr. Renu Rajbhandari, human rights activist, told AsiaNews that only a few cases come to light, but still hundreds of women are killed on fake charges of witchcraft and magical practices. "Hinduism - he said - has subjugated women in societies dominated by this religion, like Nepal. And many elderly are even burned alive over a charge of witchcraft."

Govinda Tolon, an expert in Hindu culture and newly elected director of the Pashupatinath Temple, admits a certain weakness of this religion: "Some groups in Nepal continue to practice Hinduism in the wrong way, because of their own ignorance. Similar gestures are rooted there and will take time to erradicate. But real Hinduism is opposed to all kinds of false magical practices. "

 

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