A New Low – Kathua Victim's Name Is Now Trending On Porn Websites In India - Homegrown

A New Low – Kathua Victim's Name Is Now Trending On Porn Websites In India

We woke up today to the news of a minor girl being tortured and raped for 8 days before she was killed and left on a cricket field. This is just as the fight demanding justice for the Kathua and Unnao cases are gaining momentum. The post-mortem report detailed the horrors the girl faced through those terrifying days, including the “86 injury marks including on her private parts.” And what’s worse, if anything at all, is that the girl hasn’t been identified or accounted for. Her family is unaware, as Surat police continue to go through missing children databases.

Reading this report on my homepage, I despair at the current state of our broken nation. My scales tip towards pessimism with regard to progress or just hope for India, and seem to have been thrown off the deep end as I stumbled across a post on a popular Facebook page – a screenshot taken of a highly-frequented pornography website, and what lay under the ‘trends’ tag for India? One name that made me sick to my stomach – ‘Asifa’.

Yes, in the aftermath of a gruesome rape (just one among many taking place all over the country) and murder in India people are searching for the victim’s name on porn websites. There aren’t enough times that reading or writing that sentence makes it any easier to digest.

Is this what we have become?

It has to be photoshop I say, shaking my head and forcing myself to not let my faith in our society completely fall at this moment. I open the website (clearly NSFW) to check the authenticity of the screenshot that was posted, and low and behold, much to my horror, it’s right there.

Screenshot taken of the website by the author
Screenshot taken of the website by the author

This is not a one-off search that has made it pop-up on the homepage – this is based on massive data collection and algorithms. That’s kind of how ‘trending’ works.

Having read and written about it in the past, I was aware of the growing industry of rape videos in India, but never did I ever imagine that there would be a real search for one that involved an eight-year-old – a child because, at the end of the day, that is what she was.

The advancing of technology has meant the release of numerous models of smartphones across various budgets. Every third person now has one, with either 3G/4G or wifi, a Facebook account and Whatsapp. These videos of sexual assault are recorded and shared with the tap of a finger – a violent act of depravity for the sake of a few seconds of pleasure. They’re sold at the same cost of a decent meal in many of our cities, anywhere between INR 20 to INR 200 per video, it depends on its ‘exclusivity’. Al Jazeera unveiled this dark trade in Uttar Pradesh in a report, and Times of India undertook their own investigation in the matter, and both came to the same, sad conclusion – “Porn is passe. These real-life crimes are the rage,” as stated by a shopkeeper at Agra’s market to the TOI reporter.

Some people view these videos as pornography, but the difference between pornography and these videos is a concept that some people just can’t seem to wrap their heads around – consent. Pornography involves consenting adults, it’s a performance. These, on the other hand, are rapes, plain and simple.

This can’t be who we are today, as a society. We need to heavily introspect and realign our own moral compass because this only illustrates that this is such a deep and dark part of our reality. Because if this is where we are headed, no amount of protests and candlelight marches can do anything if this is what we come home to.

Featured image via Humans of Hindutva.

We suggest you read:

The Other Side - 4 Indian Men Share Their Stories Of Sexual Abuse

17-Year-Old Indian Boy Invents Shoe To Help Prevent Rape

The Flourishing Trade Of Rape Videos In India


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