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.