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India’s Daughter: Banned and Abandoned

  • IWB Post
  •  March 5, 2015


We live in a bubble. We read news of rapes, molestation and violence against women and mentally think them to be happening in a parallel universe. Not in ours. We live in a bubble until life happens.

Since the past couple of days I had been coming across the heated debates on the news channels to ban the documentary made on Jyoti, a rape victim also widely known as the Nirbhaya case. People blamed the BBC of being biased, trying to malign our country, trying to glorify rape and trying to glorify the rapists. My first reaction was instinctual and I was convinced that the British were again trying to harm our country and its image.

A hint of anger erupted until the sane side of me urged to at least first see the documentary before going on a blaming spree.So, I turned to the magic of internet and downloaded the documentary from YouTube. I could have just watched it but I was not sure if the government would suddenly decide to take it down and ban it (Like the AIB roast, I repent not downloading it, the cut version I mean because all the jokes on Modi did not even make it to “controversial” version that was uploaded).

Goosebumps, tears, anger, frustration and immense sadness are the few things I experienced while watching the 59 min long documentary titled “India’s Daughter”. Unlike what most of the news channels are trying to portray, the documentary is not about the rapists, it does not glorify them, it does not give India a bad name and it is definitely not an attempt to malign our country (we do not need foreign power to do that. We are quite there, if you know what I mean). The documentary simply showed some facts and some hard hitting, bitter truths. We can’t always paint the world rosy because the world is not rosy. Especially ours

The documentary starts with a message “A Delhi court has blocked the showing of the film in India” (democracy eh?). Also giving information like “a woman is raped in India every 20 minutes”. This is what I would call, stating facts. The 59 min long film carefully documents the case, showing interviews of Jyoti’s parents, the pain and agony they went through, her tutor, her doctors who recalled Jyoti giving all the information she could in spite of being in immense pain so that the culprits are punished, the police, the people who fought to amend the laws, it’s process and the outcome, the man who helped Jyoti and her friend while they lay on the road and the horror he felt when he first saw her lying therein a pool of blood with her insides spilled out and the rapists, the family members of the 6 rapists and the defense lawyers who in my opinion stole the show by shamelessly and unabashedly showing their inhuman mentality.

The statements “women are like flowers who need protection and men are like thorns” and “in our society we never allow girls to come out in the evening with unknown person” and “if my daughter goes out with someone not her husband and has male friends and spoils her character, I would personally burn her in front of my whole family in my farm house” are not coming from the rapists. They are in fact coming from the “well educated” defense lawyers. In a court of law, they are not criminals and cannot be punished but in the social context, they are the exact living proof of what is wrong with our society.

The documentary does not malign our country. It did what it was supposed to do. It showed the harsh reality, the ugly truth and a case that shook the nation. It shows India needs to change, the people need to change, the systems need to be efficient, the mentality has to change. This documentary does nothing but act like a mirror and by boycotting it and banning it we Indians are doing nothing but giving a loud and clear message that we don’t like what we have become.

Riti Das Dhankar

Guest Blogger

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