Shut India’s Daughter- This, in fact is our Culture


Shut India’s Daughter- This, in fact is our Culture

The documentary ‘India’s Daughter’ by the British filmmaker Leslee Udwin sparked a controversy in India to ban its broadcast. The documentary recounts the iniquitous crime that shook the entire country on 16th December, 2012.

 
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Shut India’s Daughter- This, in fact is our Culture

The documentary ‘India’s Daughter’ by the British filmmaker Leslee Udwin sparked a controversy in India to ban its broadcast. The documentary recounts the iniquitous crime that shook the entire country on 16th December, 2012.

A young girl of 23, Jyoti Singh boarded a private bus with her friend at 8.30 PM in Delhi after a movie. A group of men in the bus, drunk beat Jyoti’s friend while raping the victim at the back of the bus. In order to ‘teach her a lesson’ the men raped, thrashed and inserted a rod in her private parts and left her and her friend on the street.

The details of the accident are truly disemboweled. She was somehow still alive when the men left her but succumbed to her injuries several days later, creating a spark in the entire nation who questioned Indian culture, women’s safety and rights.

Recently, the BBC documentary that gave an insight to the mindset of one of the rapists Mukesh Singh in a last minute intervention was banned by the India’s Government calling it as ‘International Conspiracy to defame India.’ Really?

In the documentary, Mukesh Singh (serving death row in Tihar Jail) was interviewed by Leslee whose unaffected, undaunting demeanor appalled the viewers. As he described the incidence, he added another dimension to the story saying, “A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy.” According to him, her death wouldn’t have happened, if she had not fought back!

The defense lawyers turned out to be more offensive. “Indian Culture is the best in the world. There is no place for Women in the Indian culture.” “If my daughter disgraced herself, I would myself set her on fire.”

The justifications of the government leading to the ban of the documentary are bizarre. Unable to secure the right permission for the interview, didn’t show authorities the unedited versions, Singh’s statements are ‘an affront to the dignity of women’, video would encourage and incite violence against women, documentary paints the picture of sexual violence of the country on a global level, nationally embarrassing are many a reasons that the supporters of the ban have suggested.

But, doesn’t the documentary portray the truth about India and the pedestrian mentality that India holds towards women? According to Jyoti’s father Badri Singh, the documentary should be seen by all. The biggest irony is that ‘Nirbhaya’ or the fearless one has become the most feared in the country and her mouth has been shut by the so-called benefactors of the society.

As Shobha De wrote, we all are missing the plot. The concern is the dehumanization of women in this fast growing India and is outgrowing in multitudes of horrific forms in the society, not only as rapes, but also sexual abuse, domestic violence, acid attack and harassment.

Nirbhaya’s rape case has become the reference point to the numerous rapes that are occurring in India or have occurred in the past. It is difficult to decide which time is the worst, the present or the future where a female’s voice will be shut if she dared to speak about her plight or the intense issues that would be covered to portray the glorified image of India on the front.

Shut India’s Daughter- This, in fact is our Culture

Isn’t it obvious in our country that only women suffer and have to fight for equality when on the other hand they are being called as ‘Goddesses’? Rapes happen everywhere in the world, the issues with women are mostly the same all over. But, as Indians, how are we dealing with the issues is the matter of concern.

Leslee Udwin, the filmmaker decides to flee from the country fearing that she would be arrested and why? For bringing to light the truth of India, their men and how they objectify women in this male dominated society?

The Nirbhaya case tightened the rape laws thereafter but still on average, a rape is reported every 21 minutes in India. On one hand, we propagate ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign and on the other hand, obstruct freedom of speech and skew gender inequality issues by banning the documentary?

Truth is usually bitter, and India tasted the bitter pill through the hands of an outsider. India has the habit of arguing, restricted to the parliament, but when people are faced by real issues on the front, they find ways to play the blame game and then they either get offended or ask for ban.

The truth has evoked strong emotion, but it must be confronted. A guilty man sitting in the jail challenges women saying, ‘If you are out at 9 PM, we will do this.’ If our politicians and the decent men in our society do not take actions for the women, the entire society may catch fire.

Shut India’s Daughter- This, in fact is our Culture

Are we so outraged to see the ‘truth’ that it has shun the minds to thing and seek for a solution than going about in the world pointing finger to an outsider for defaming our country? It is sad to know that the mindset of rapists has an uncanny similarity to what most politicians and lawyers in the country have said.

Just because some politicians shout loud doesn’t mean that they are right. This, in fact is a general way of Indians to deal with issues- stay away from debate and discussions, pretend that it doesn’t exist and if the matter is leading to an outrage in the nation, simply ban it!

The problem of rape exists in our country. It DOES. We cannot go on refusing the words uttered by the rapists, politicians and the lawyers. We need a change before the truth makes us hollow from inside and out in the world is a ‘Shining India’ left with no morals, no humanity and no justice underneath.

P.S.: Bharat Mata ki Jai! And I wondered when the lawyer said, ‘There is no place for women in Indian culture.’

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