Dateline Kerala, November 2012 In two parts of Kerala within the space of a week two girls, both minors, make this complaint that should shame our entire nation: a. My father has been raping me for three years... and now he is eyeing my younger sister b. My father, my brother, and my two uncles have been raping me for two years yes, you read it right. Minors, raped by their own fathers. Father, Papa, Baba, Abbu, Appu, Pa, Abba, Daddy.... words that energize the addressee, and fill him with soulful and joyful sense of responsibility, and are expected to provide to the caller, fulsome security, and unquestioned protection against the entire world, suddenly acquire menacing connotations. Papa becomes the demon personified, the very worst of criminals, more heinous than the murderer, when he eyes up his own helpless and dependent daughter. As a trustee he breaches the foundation of faith and hope. He annihilates the tenderness, destroys the innocence and demolishes the playfulness that a child has a birth right to enjoy. Worse, he leaves her no escape. All this for his uncontrolled momentary lust, erasing all distinction between a daughter and a mistress. Hypocrisy costs dearly. Very dearly in cases such as these. A society that is obsessed with sex, but that abhors public acknowledgement of this as a fact of life, and which scorns fair, consented sex between adults, hides under the carpet sins of worst cruelties. And I strongly suspect we have only seen the tip of the deathly iceberg I invite you to ponder and comment on: - how and how much to punish such devils from our midst - how to tolerate, indeed, accept consensual sex between adults Far from being a kind-hearted angel, I am guilty of many wrongs and excesses. Yet I couldn't help cry today. For just a moment I tried to be one of those little girls. And nothing but scary dark appeared all around me. Completely dark.