What happens when we’re exposed to stunning videos
What was once extraordinary has become multifarious, vast and common, but not ordinary
An extraordinary video clip was at the heart of the nominal no-confidence motion against the government of Narendra Modi. The clip shows two women being paraded naked in Manipur as part of a sexual assault against them. For many weeks before it went viral online, most of India was unmoved by the communal violence in Manipur. Not because Indians don’t have a heart, but because our threshold for public compassion is high. But the video did shock Indians. People had heard that such things were done to women as a form of communal revenge, but now they could see it. For decades, how to ‘integrate’ the north-east had been talked about; the video clip from one of its states was a sign that what unites India is all that is wrong with us.