Book Review: The Bad Touch

Book: The Bad Touch
Author: Payal Shah Karwa
Number of pages: 208
Price: Rs. 299

The Bad Touch by Payal Shah Karwa is a compilation of real-life stories of victims of Child Sex Abuse (CSA), who emerged victorious. Karwa would like to replace the term “survivor” with “thriver.” By narrating the stories of Harish Iyer, an award-winning social activist; Anurag Kashyap, a noted film director; and other individuals, this book attempts to explore the issue of CSA in greater depth and suggest/recommend measures in tackling it. “The idea is to celebrate the victory of the thriver over themselves, having fought their circumstances.” (Page 14)

Apart from Iyer and Kashyap’s names, Karwa has changed the names of the rest of the survivors, only retaining the respective incidents and characters.

While telling each of the stories, Karwa also highlights the relevant laws, with appropriate statistics, and the remedial measures that a CSA survivor should take. The book also lists out the various agencies and online resources that could assist a survivor’s healing process.

The Bad Touch is an intensely researched book. It must have been very emotionally draining for Karwa to listen to these stories and present them to us so lucidly. However, I found the writing a bit off in a few places. There was also too much repetition of the facts and figures. The stories could have done with crisper editing. While there is a format and structure of sorts to the book, I found the arrangement of the stories a bit haphazard. But I loved the front cover.

The Bad Touch is no doubt a loaded read. But read it for some inspiration and a reality check. People are fighting bigger demons out there. And we need to acknowledge and celebrate their victories.

Learn more about The Bad Touch.


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