When Cannibalism Becomes The Common Discourse: Kerala Protests Rape

Kerala Rape

Déjà vu! It has happened once again – in a different state this time, but in our very own country. I sometimes wonder if we are surrounded by sadists who are obdurate (a deadly combination). People who refuse to learn, make amends and grow. To kill someone is condemnable, but to sexually assault, rip open their guts and leave them to die is taking anthropophagy to another ghastly level.

Did her intestines incite the rapists? Let’s find out.

When the cops found her body, the 30-year-old law student was lying in a pool of her own blood. According to news reports, the woman had around 20 cuts on her body; her private parts had been slashed open, exposing her abdominal cavity, intestines and other organs. The woman had been butchered. There were injury marks on the back of her head, deep cuts on her chin, neck and chest.

A resident of Perumbavoor in Kerala, Jisha lived in a one-room house with her mother. She was a student at Ernakulam Law College. The local media drew a parallel between the Kerala carnage and Delhi’s brutal gang rape of 2012.


Protests rocked the state as the news came to fore. The woman’s body was found five days after the alleged rape and murder. Her mother, meanwhile, is coming to terms with the death of her daughter in a hospital. She insists the two were always threatened by the neighbourhood, and lived in fear all these years.

While the post-mortem reports are yet to confirm rape, the angle has not been ruled out. Cops have detained three persons in connection with the crime.

From what is being suggested by the media, Jisha was a Dalit and a woman. Two concrete reasons for people to launch a nonsensical attack fuelled by hatred. The reason the case is frightening, is because the woman was slaughtered in the safety of her own house. What could be worse?

Women are told to be safe because evil lurks in every corner. That it is ‘immoral’ for a woman to step out or hang around with a man after dark. The self-proclaimed ‘righteous’ groups always share their (unnecessary) wisdom after such barbaric incidents, so what do they have to say this time? What could possibly explain the brutality of this case?

If murder was the agenda, then a clean death would have served. When Jyoti was raped inside the moving bus in Delhi, her culprits wanted to teach her a ‘lesson’. So they pulled out her insides because she gave them a fight. But what could possibly have happened to Jisha? Was she indeed raped? And if she was, did the rapists get a high by slicing open her torso and private parts?

Where are we heading, as a society and as a country? Where are we channelling so much abhorrence from? We cannot make our women feel safe anywhere. We are inching towards cerebral impedance.

It’s a shame. The country needs the stingiest of laws to curb rape. Let us act up now, instead of sleeping on bills and allowing delinquents a scot free life.

Prerna Mittra

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