State vs “Urban Naxals”: How Ghoul Reflects the Horrors of New India

Social Commentary

State vs “Urban Naxals”: How Ghoul Reflects the Horrors of New India

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

T

he future is almost always past. The appeal of dystopian fiction lies in the distinct possibility of it coming to pass – or having already occured. George Orwell’s 1984 or Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale depict a future we might be headed toward if we don’t mind our ways. But the reason Netflix’s recent horror offering Ghoul curdles my blood, is because there’s very little in there that doesn’t feel like a dystopia we currently occupy.

Set against the backdrop of a future police state, divided along communal lines, Ghoul portrays events inside a state interrogation centre (a glorified term for a torture chamber). The most common argument for torture is that it is a necessary evil we live with for the sake of “national security”. But is it possible for us to draw the line between national security, and securing the ideologies of those in power?

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