By By SETH RISINGMAN New Delhi, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Indian writer Kala Raju is the subject of a book that has stirred outrage in her home country because it describes the plight of people of Indian descent in India’s Indian-dominated rural areas as “murderers, rapists, thieves and traitors”.
In an interview with Reuters, Raju said her story would help those who had suffered because of the country’s harsh policies.
“It’s an opportunity to take people back to India and to tell their stories,” she said, adding that the book could “help us to understand what’s happening in India”.
The story of a young girl from a small town in India who was raped and forced to marry a man of her own race in an arranged marriage is part of a new book by a leading Indian writer titled “The Murder of a Family”.
The book’s author, former journalist-turned-activist Kala Shah, said her book, “The Rape of a Girl: The Murder of India’s Families”, would help Indians understand why they had been subjected to “an extreme form of racism”.
“We have a system that discriminates against the poor and marginalised people.
But we also have a society that oppresses women, that has forced women into marriages that have little value,” she told Reuters.”
We need to be aware of what’s going on in the country.
I want to raise awareness about this, and also to create an awareness about why we are not able to understand why people of colour are being subjected to such a severe form of discrimination.”
Raju’s story was first published in a New Delhi-based daily newspaper in 2010.
In it, she described how a man, a relative and her family had been kidnapped and murdered by their relatives.
“I was so shocked by the events of the kidnapping and killing of my relatives.
I never expected such a horrible event to happen in my lifetime,” she wrote.
The book has triggered outrage from many Indians, who believe the author was trying to use the rape and murder of her relatives to promote her own political agenda.
Rajus parents fled India in the 1960s, her father was killed by a mob and her mother was forced into marriage with a man who was of mixed race.
The man, she said in her book “The Killer”, was her cousin.
“My cousin is a very strong man, but he is also a murderer.
He killed his own mother, he killed my father, he raped my mother, and he raped me.
So, when he raped us, he had a choice.
He could kill his own father, his own son, or he could kill me.
That’s the choice he chose,” she writes in the book.”
And I am a part of that,” she added.
The family in the “Murder of a Families” was the victim of the kidnappings, rapes and killings of her father, grandfather and grandmother, she wrote, adding they were also the victims of “fear and hate”.
The family was moved from their village in the south-western state of Kerala to a village near the city of Bengaluru, she writes.
The story is told from the perspective of a man living in a small village in southern Kerala who has been the victim to the same fate and he has had to flee his own village, she says.
“The people in the village have been murdered by the man, by the family and by the community,” she says, describing how he had been attacked, kidnapped and tortured.
She said that in her own life, the woman had not faced any racism.
“There are no stories that I can remember of being threatened, no stories of discrimination.
That is not my experience,” she stated.
The author said she was not trying to “explain away” racism.
The country has experienced a string of violence against ethnic minorities in recent years, particularly those from the south and east, who were targeted by Hindu extremists.
Raja has been in India for 15 years.
She is now an American citizen and has her own television show.
(Reporting by Sami A. Ibrahim; Editing by Peter Graff)