India’s daughter


The gangrape and murder of Nirbhaya in a bus in Delhi on December 16, 2012 was a shameful tragedy staining India’s image. But what good would be done by Leslie Udwin’s disturbing documentary called India’s daughter,  highlighting what the British consider to be the Indian mindset? The Information & Broadcasting Ministry of the Union government has issued an advisory against showing it on Indian TV channels as scheduled on March 8, International Women’s Day. Udwin says that her unit had got permission from the Union Home Ministry and Tihar Jail authorities. What is disgraceful is that the film is based on an interview of the driver of the bus in question, Mukesh Singh. He said that the 23 year old paramedical student, Nirbhaya, invited brutal assault by resisting rape. It is a view of an insufficiently educated male chauvinist who does not represent sensible Indians. No importance has been attached to the Verma Committee recommendations which showed fresh thinking on rape and advocated capital punishment in extreme cases. It may be noted that the UK does not allow capital punishment and the US law on rape is extremely lenient.

It is surprising that Udwin apparently received the Union Home Ministry’s permission. Which Home Ministry? The present Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said that the documentary is an embarrassment for the country and that action would be taken against those who granted permission. Already the film has opened a can of worms and a supposedly educated lawyer has said about the case, “If you keep sweets on the street, then dogs will come and eat them.” Mukesh Singh’s interview has compromised the Nirbhaya case. What is surprising is that the six convicts who committed the outrage as early as 2012 have not been brought to justice yet. In such a case, nothing but the death sentence will be condign punishment.

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