Of course, these don’t discount the hundreds of genuine expressions of outrage and support for the girl and her family. There have been midnight marches and outpourings of grief from influential as well as ordinary citizens.

In Kerala and Allahabad, some houses now reportedly sport signs asking BJP members to keep away as young girls live inside. A new father in Kerala made an even stronger statement, naming his daughter after the murdered child—he was promptly attacked for his decision. The outrage has now even prompted the United Nations to take note.

But it’s clear that as primitive undercurrents increasingly shape political and social life in India, an innocent child has been tragically caught in the crossfire.

We welcome your comments at ideas.india@qz.com.

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.