Sick online trends of the communal Indian Rape Culture

The disturbing news that Kathus’s rape and murder victim’s name (*****) is trending in India on porn hosting xvideos got me digging into what drives this mentality and what better way than to look at Google Trends for this.

I used a proxy name suffixed with two phrases – “xxx” and “rape videos” i.e. “*insert name* xxx” and “*insert name* rape videos” to see what are the kind of results that Google throws up. Seems usage of “xxx” in the search term throws up links for adult video websites while usage of the other term throws up news and related content which are not necessarily NSFW but have a problematic tinge to it. However, both these search terms are loosely correlated as seen in Figure 1. This probably happens because a population looking for such material will sometimes not use the more explicit “xxx” term.

Figure 1

Thus, I decided to look closer at the breakup of the “xxx” search term when things started getting interesting.

1. Seems our paedo-Indians got into this around the same time when the rest of us started discussing this issue en masse i.e. on April 12th, sometime around midday.

2. The interest in the term usually spikes around late night or early morning of every day, which is congruent with porn watching behaviors of most. Further settling the conclusion that this is indeed a pornographic search rather than a news/information based search. Refer to Figure which shows the search density for one of the most common porn categories i.e. “MILF videos” and see how this also peaks at times past midnight. The search term “rape video” is loosely correlated with this trend meaning that not everyone searching using this term was looking for pornographic material.

Figure 2

3. Having established the problematic nature of this search, I tried finding what part of the sample was actually this depraved. Hopeful news there – when compared to what can be assumed to be the most searched term across political ideologies in a cricket-mad nation during the IPL, “ipl scores”, seems a negligible part of the internet searches is for the “xxx” term. 6% of the search volume of “ipl scores” was for this term, at its peak. When compared to searches with only “a****” in it, the number of peado searches was less than 1%. See Figure 3 and Figure 4 below.


Figure 3
Figure 4

4. Things get confounding when you break this search into regions. Because I had my biased hypothesis about where might these searches be originating from within India, and boy was I in for a surprise.

Seems Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Kerala, Assam, and West Bengal are the leaders when it comes to searching for “xxx” media for ***** and that too with a surprisingly high density. WB, which is 5th on the list, generates 85% of the search volume of the leader i.e UP. Kerala is third with 95%. You can see this in Figure 5 below.

Figure 5

When you compare this with the generic interest in ***** (news, opinion, social media posts, and other non-NSFW results) its only Kerala that saves some grace. Kerala leads the pack with the highest amount of interest in non-NSFW **** sources on the internet while the four other paedo-states rank 28/35 at best. WB has 37% of Kerala’s interest in this category, UP has 34%, Assam has 31%, and Bihar is at the bottom with 27%.

Clearly, sans Kerala, the other four states have a relatively more interest in ***** related pornographic material rather than news.

So if we consider Kerala as a confounding outlier (when we say juxtapose these two findings about these states to generalize about their moral characters), we have 4 states.

Here are some things common to these 4 states that might be of interest to those like me, who understand this incident and the trends to be political-religious in nature.

a. All these four states have witnessed recent or near-recent instances of communally divisive politics, almost always perpetrated by the Hindutva brigade.

b. These four states feature in the top 5 Indian states with Muslim populations (in %) when we do not include the outliers of Lakshadweep and J&K. The other state in the top 5 is Kerala.

This brings me to the question and the conundrum: If we assume that an increasing share of population of religious minorities propels both sides into more hardline versions of their religion (the majority religion witnesses this as a threat and thus congregates; the minority religion witnesses this as an opportunity and thus spreads), do we not owe it to all our children that we do not subscribe to even non-extremist-yet-conservative tenants of our respective religions considering there is a correlation between religious conservatism and paedophilia?

PS. I am well aware of correlations do not signify causation. I make a living out of it. Every other criticism is welcome.


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Sayan Kundu Written by:

Sayan is a development economics researcher who thrives on understanding any socio-political-economic using data and trends. He has been involved with multiple Slutwalks in India, have worked with domestic violence survivors in Liberia, Kenya and USA, and is always on the lookout for emerging issues in the broad areas of gender in post-conflict settings.

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