Sonia Faleiro on Life and Death in India’s Heartland
One night in the summer of 2014, two teenage girls living in a remote village in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh went missing. Hours later, they were found dead and hanging from a tree in a mango orchard. A media frenzy ensued that propelled the case to the front pages of national newspapers and prime time cable news. It was quickly decided that this was another clear-cut case of rape and murder in India’s heartland.
A haunting new book, _The Good Girls: An Ordinary Killing_, by the author Sonia Faleiro reveals that the truth, however, is far murkier.
Sonia is Milan’s guest on the podcast this week and the two discuss the origins of _The Good Girls_, the notion of honor in contemporary Indian society, the pervasiveness of caste in the Hindi heartland, the troubled state of policing, and the battle Indian girls face even before leaving their homes.
Parul Sehgal of the _New York Times_ has this to say about _The Good Girls: _“‘The Good Girls’ is transfixing; it has the pacing and mood of a whodunit, but no clear reveal; Faleiro does not indict the cruelty or malice of any individual, nor any particular system. She indicts something even more common, and in its own way far more pernicious: a culture of indifference that allowed for the neglect of the girls in life and in death.”
* Parul Sehgal, “A Double Tragedy in India and the Search for Elusive Answers,” _New York Times_.
* Rafia Zakaria, “Death in the Mango Orchard,” _The Baffler_