21 June, 2021

The Magic-Realistic Slaughter Of Azad

Writing of the death of comrades, Cherukuri Rajkumar foretold his own

Illustration by Sorit
The Magic-Realistic Slaughter Of Azad

"There has never been a death more foretold,” wrote Gabriel Garcia Marquez in his classic little novel, Chronicle of a Death Foretold. The setting is a small seaside town somewhere in South America where virtually the whole town knows that a honour killing of a young man is going to take place one morning. The killers wait with open knives in full view of the public, declaring to all passers-by their intention. Nothing is kept secret; the killing takes place in full view of the town through the public’s various acts of omission and commission. Everyone has his or her justification for why they couldn’t prevent the killing. Insights into the gripping power of collective prejudice merge with realism and fantasy to create the magic Marquez is famous for.

But even the magic realism of Marquez falls short of the ‘facts’ presented by Indian law enforcing authorities through the media about so-called encounter killings. Here are some ‘facts’ presented in one case:

  • A man...

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