I watched India’s Daughter!

Dear Rajnath Singh,

I finally watched India’s Daughter, Leslee Udwin’s documentary which you vehemently banned few hours ago. It is on YouTube, watched by many on their phones and computers. I have myself shared the link and hundreds of others are doing the same on facebook and twitter as we speak. And if you are still clueless what the documentary is all about here is a summary of what it’s all about. I’ll keep it brief. I know you are a busy man.

It voices a mother who recalls the last words of her daughter who wanted to be a doctor. The daughter was good in English, she had her dreams, was a kind and compassionate soul. She wanted to build a hospital in her village. The documentary shows the many voices of our vibrant India where views clash and collide, where Mukesh Singh and five others raped the girl because ” a decent girl won’t roam at nine in the evening ”. A father sells his land to educate his daughter, he talks about it, a father who sees his child grow, help her walk and talk and one day his child who was viciously assaulted meets her end. We see a lawyer who says will set fire to his own daughter at his farmhouse if she indulged in pre-marital activities. There is also the story of a ten year old street child who tried to rob the girl’s purse and when she asked ”why did you do it?” he replied ” I also want new clothes like you people, I want new new shoes.” And the girl buys them for him and asks him never to steal.

Dear Government, there is nothing to fear in this documentary. Show it. Drag it out into the sunlight. Only then can it be examined, interrogated and appreciated.

Another daughter of India

As many feared it is not Mukesh’s voice overpowering the debate, it is his attitude-…..commonplace, callous, despicable. The most chilling aspect of the documentary is the absence of guilt and regret on any level. Men who can stare straight into the camera and say, “She asked for it!” Or worse, “She deserved it!” And even more worse, “We will do it again… and again… because women need to be taught a lesson.”

What this documentary does is hold a mirror to our ugly deformed and twisted interiors. We need to watch it because the enemy is not out there jabbering in Tihar jail but right here, among us. And as long as this attitude prevails, among men and women, no girl is safe, no girl is free. 

Blame the parents. Blame the victim. Blame movies. Blame music. Blame clothes. Blame alcohol. Blame cigarettes.  Blame night clubs. Blame , blame , blame. Assume zero responsibility. Do nothing. India”s Daughter is about the horror and tragedy of December 16, 2012. But it shows the template for many other crimes in the country: the attitude that a girl invites sexual assault by the way she dresses and moves, that she is easy prey, that she has no right over her body. 

We should watch the documentary because we should know the horror of it. We should watch it to know how commonplace Mukesh Singh’s attitude is. We should watch it to identify the variations of Mukesh Singh in and around us….at home and in workplace, in the government and on the streets. And when we throw a stone at Mukesh Singh It should hurt everybody who holds that view, they all should bleed.

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9 thoughts on “I watched India’s Daughter!

  1. Very nicely said Arunima.. I completely agree with the fact that government of India has nothing to fear with the document.. there is nothing anti India or anti government element in it. Hope the government understands that and revokes the decision of banning it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Prabhakar, i personally feel there is a lot to learn from it. The one hour documentary has been careful in not having an accented narratorial voice that could sound judgemental; instead we have the girl’s mother and father as the speakers, we have her friend who throws light on certain aspects of her life we’ve never heard thus far and there’s Mukesh Singh. And as many feared the documentary is not voyeuristic.

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  2. Thankyou so very much for so perfectly expressing the obvious truth. This is not an issue ti hide under the carpet of public “shame”. ‘log kyaa kahenge’ has no place in protecting women.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ..I think the controversy is making the a hero out of a rapist……. may be a hero playing a negative role for many…… . its like an implanted controversy before the release of new blockbuster…….
    I would definitely like to know how many rapist the producer interviewed in her own country , The chilling way the rapist tells ” girl should not have resisted and she would not have been killed ” sends a chilling message to the crooked mind . Instead of his interview the producer should have asked for a LIVE coverage of his hanging which would have send a much more straight message to the crooked minds.

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    • Leslee Udwin, armed with 50 questions, and assisted by a psychologist, interviewed eight criminals inside Tihar Jail. She must have talked to hundreds of others. She herself was a rape victim, she says, in an effort to explain her strong motivation to make this particular documentary. Instead of anger, she experienced a “sense of overwhelming pity” for the brutes, she admits, because “…. we live in a world where women are treated in such a degraded and depraved manner.” Udwin must be a really evolved woman to rationalize her feelings in this manner. I felt waves of unbridled rage, indescribable revulsion and a deep sense of loathing reading Udwin’s interviews when she added, “What they (sex criminals) have in common is the belief that women are of a lesser value. They feel that if women break restrictions men have imposed on them, it is a reason to attack them.”

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  4. Respect your sentiments. I am against bans too and this is not an attempt to justify bans. In this case, the ban has diverted attention from the flaws of the documentary and the filmmaker. As it is out now the convicted rapist was paid money for the story. It also looks that he was tutored to address his minor collaborator as juvenile. The filmmaker in an interview has called India “a sick society”. What about this article http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-369262/Women-blame-raped.html which tells the British mentality. Such moral doublespeak. Virtually all countries ban some form of speech/material which it deems offensive. UK is no exception and BBC not above British laws. Further, a screening has been organised and 9 country launch planned with celebrities in tow. Is this not to show India in poor light? Yes, we should not hide from the ugly side of society and should face it. But this was one of the most covered and discussed cases. Are we so uninformed that we need to hear from the rapist to be outraged? Are we so ignorant?? The filmmaker has breached certain conditions of the permission and it is not above the courts which carried this trial in private. In a separate interview Udwin has used the words “How Dare”. Really? Latest from her is that she is not in favour of death penalty.

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    • Hi, i value your sentiments but i have a different take on this issue Sir. We had a Chief Minister who reacted to the murder of journalist Soumya Vishwanathan in Delhi by saying,” all by herself till 3am in the city…you must not be so adventurous.” We have had the Samajwadi Party leader defending rapists by saying, ”boys make mistakes.” I am from Assam and on march 5th in Dimapur, Nagaland, residents decided to turn vigilantes and murdered a rapist in full public view. The pictures and videos are uploaded on the net for the world to see. It happened not very far from my state. Our system has collapsed, we don’t need a foreign filmmaker to say that India is a ”sick society.” It is rotten because we have people like Mukesh Singh’s lawyers say girls are like diamonds that if found on the streets will be feasted on by dogs. It is now the country’s dignity that the BJP’s Meenakshi Lekhi who said that the documentary is a quest to harm India’s stature and Union Home Minister said it was a conspiracy to defame the country…are trying so hard to protect. A rapist says good girls don’t go out at night, Lekhi and Naidu says good foreigners don’t make bad documentaries, civilians turn murderers and the world watches. This is India today. And there is nothing to hide.

      Liked by 1 person

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