The ban on India’s Daughter, documentary by Leslee Udwin makes a joke of Indian Democracy. There remains a little in democracy, if people are not allowed to express their views freely. The freedom of expression only demarcates democracy from other types of rule. Freedom of expression is the essence of any civilized society and the ban on Udwin’s documentary goes against all norms and even against our traditions where discussion has always been preferred over ban. The BBC not only released the documentary but also put it on the Internet to make it available across the globe. There are many things in the media which may not be as per the liking of people,so they may not see such things but banning them increases their value in the market.The ban itself prompted many people like me to see the documentary as it was available on the net. I failed to understand why it has been banned? It is no way denounces our culture but tries to put a naked truth before all of us. I personally feel every Indian shall see this documentary so that he or she understands the sufferings of women. We cannot hide things under the carpet anymore. We have to develop the habit of accepting the things. If anyone from outside points to the things happening in our country,we shall not take such things as a conspiracy against us. Is our civilization so weak that an ordinary documentary can crumble it? The exposure to the truth got the whole worlds attention. Udwin has put a mirror in front of the whole society. Whats wrong with this? The issue it has raised need to be dealt seriously.
The Modi government put many arguments to ban the telecast. Firstly, it talked of no legal permission to Udwin to produce it. This was exposed as a blatant lie when she published the letter of permission on the website. Secondly, it will disturb the law and order situation in the country. This is total nonsense and unacceptable. Are our laws enforcing agencies too weak to control the situation? Thirdly, it creates a bad name for the country. When people were on the roads protesting against the rape of Narbaya,the people all over the world were witnessing this. Can India hide itself from the gaze of public eye in the modern times? Is the rape of minors/tourists not giving a bad name to the country? The documentary had the consent of the parents of the victim, so there is no point in tarnishing the image of the victim. It was held that it may influence the judicial process, but in many cases of public importance people freely spoke to the press and the judiciary worked on its value. Judiciary never decides things on the bases of public opinion.The courts are guided by the law of land. Lastly, the culprit is not a hero, there is no point of getting a platform. The people should talk about the issues raised in this documentary. It is a hardcore fact that the menace of rape is increasing tremendously in the society making women and children an easy prey. I saw on TV Prime minister Modi had advised parents in a public speech, to control their sons but nothing came as a concrete policy decision in this regard.
According to the National crime Records Bureau there were about 33000 cases of rape registered in 2013. Only 27 percent of these succeeded in the court and more significantly there was 35 percent increase in the incidence of rapes over the previous year. Bad investigation and underreporting has put the number at a low level whereas the actual may be much more than this. One in three rape victims in India is under the age of 18. One in 10 is below 14. Every 20 minutes in India a woman is raped compared to the United States where it is 6.2 minutes. India also ranks third in the number of rapes each year, the first being USA. It is more or less a global problem as 85,000 women are raped in UK every year and the fate of women in France, Uganda, USA is no better. We shall not raise ourselves to the level of being super humans to get embarrassed. I personally think the degradation of the social/moral values is one of the main reasons responsible for this problem. In 98 percent of the cases in India , the culprit was either a relative or a neighbour of the victim.The penal code was reformed after Nirbaya case, but can legal protection only solve the problem when proving the case itself degrades the victim to the lowest level. It is a hard fact that women are the worst sufferers in our society. Their right on their own body is violated and at times justified even by the law makers on the pretext of wearing wrong clothing,broaming with a boyfriend, roaming out late in the night, working during night etc. In the documentary Mukesh Singh bears no remorse and demonstrates a mindset which has been even voiced by many in the country at different times. It seems courageous on the part of Udwin to put the facts in front of the people.The real outcome of the documentary is the need to change the mental makeup of people towards women.
If we are at all serious for the womenfolk, we must go in for the remedial measures rather than keep our eyes shut. There is a drastic need to develop moral values in the society and this can be performed by an education system best tuned to our social setup. The second aspect can be the economic upliftment of women by getting 50 percent reservation for them as per their ratio in the total population. Poverty makes womenfolk to succumb to pressure and at times they have to accept sexual violence as a way of life. It is moral duty of each one of us to raise voice against such violence rather than being a spectator to the things. The religious leaders of all faith,social activists must mobilize people against the sexual abuse of women and children. The stringent laws too are required to put the criminal in his place.The court trials are most tortuous exercise for a rape victim. The press too needs to be responsible in this case. The sexual violence against women and children should be treated as a national problem, then only we can come out with its remedy and we must leave our false male ego. Prosperity is possible only,when women of India will feel free in the real sense in her own country.