Every time Indrani Muk­er­jea appears in court as she faces tri­al for the mur­der of a daugh­ter she gave birth to when she was 15, the cam­eras get a pic­ture of her and it is always pub­lished. Peo­ple can’t take their eyes off the grey­ing, exposed roots of her hair. As the grey increas­es, we all won­der what we’d look like if we were locked up with­out tools to put our pub­lic face on. Indrani’s pub­lic face, when she was the own­er of a TV chan­nel, was so glam­orous, so put togeth­er, that we can’t believe what just two years in prison has done to it. It’s as though Dori­an Gray is look­ing in the mir­ror and every­one else can see it too. We stare. When Man­ju­la Shetye, a woman pris­on­er lodged in a Mum­bai prison died in cus­tody, the head­lines were all about Indrani. Instead of get­ting to the bot­tom of the autop­sy report, which claims that a lathi was not insert­ed into Manjula’s pri­vate parts, we won­dered whether Indrani Muk­er­jea is just using this death to get some prison ben­e­fits. Irre­sistible though Indrani’s sto­ry is, we have to look beyond at what Man­ju­la Shetye’s death real­ly tells […]