A new book revisits the infamous 2014 Badaun rape-murder case, where two cousin sisters were found hanging from a tree in UP, and tells readers how “communities, politicians, police, the media, and the criminal justice system can impact women’s lives” — sometimes pushing them towards terrible outcomes.
The book, titled The Good Girls: An Ordinary Killing, is written by award-winning reporter and writer Sonia Faleiro and will hit the stands on January 25. It claims to tell the “true story” of two girls, cousins aged 16 and 14, who went missing one night from their home in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh and were discovered hanging from a mango tree on May 28, 2014. “I hope this book will engross readers until the very end, and expand their understanding of village life, and what it means to be a young woman with a head full of hope and dreams in India today,” Faleiro, author of Beautiful Thing: Inside the Secret World of Bombay’s Dance Bars, told PTI.
Delighted to see my new book The Good Girls: An Ordinary Killing on this fantastic list. https://t.co/tgxNfQibHN
— Sonia Faleiro (@soniafaleiro) January 11, 2021
“Through the intimate and immersive story of the teenagers’ lives, and then deaths, we learn how communities, politicians, police, the media, and the criminal justice system can impact women’s lives, pushing them towards sometimes terrible outcomes,” she added. The alleged incident of rape and murder of the two girls, which had triggered a nationwide outrage, was investigated by the CBI. The CBI, in its closure report submitted in Badaun’s POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) court, had said that the girls committed suicide and were neither raped nor murdered. The court in 2015 had rejected CBI’s closure report.
According to publishing house Penguin, the book, which is a result of “six years” of painstaking investigation, dares to ask: “What is the human cost of shame?”. “Slipping deftly behind political manoeuvring, caste systems and codes of honour in a village in northern India, ‘The Good Girls’ returns to the scene of Padma and Lalli’s short lives and tragic deaths, and dares to ask: what is the human cost of shame?,” it said.