F/riction: Asaram, Spotlight, and the Unchecked Power of Faith

Pop Culture

F/riction: Asaram, Spotlight, and the Unchecked Power of Faith

Illustration: Akshita Monga


ndia’smisogyny pandemic is perhaps as old as Harappa itself, but even by our hardened standards, the Kathua and Unnao rape cases are proof that our nation is an area of bleak, sad darkness. The former case involves the abduction, gang-rape and murder of an eight-year-old nomadic girl in Jammu; the latter the rape of a 17-year-old at the hands of Kuldeep Singh Sengar, a BJP MLA, followed by the death of her father in judicial custody, and her subsequent attempt to immolate herself to secure justice. Any progress since Harappa seems cosmetic in the wake of the right-wing renaissance that has befallen us.

But it wasn’t just the crimes that evoked national outrage. In Kathua, BJP ministers from the J&K government attended “protests” on behalf of the accused and lawyers from its bar association obstructed the crime branch from filing a charge sheet. In Unnao, Kuldeep Singh Sengar’s smug grin for the shutterbugs outside the Uttar Pradesh CM’s office truly held up a mirror to the times we live in.