Documentary Ban – How Can It Help?

Last week, citing ‘objectionable content’, India banned a documentary on the fatal gang rape of a young woman in New Delhi which had created a huge storm, in the national capital in December 2012, and drew international attention.

Readers will recall the unprecedented public protests which had then first erupted in New Delhi, and soon spread to various other cities in India.

Thousands of protesters had braved the chilly weather, faced police water-cannons and endured tear-gas, as they demanded that the government do more to keep women safer.

And as protests spread like wild fire across the country, international focus fell on the depraved mentality of men who rape. Not only in India, but around the globe.

And, I believe today, this documentary ‘India’s Daughter’ which BBC Four released on YouTube on March 4 , does just that.

The film-maker gives us an insight into the mind of one of the rapists, and also into the minds of a couple of lawyers defending them.

The growing outrage now is against the demeaning and debauched opinions that many men still have about women, as shown in the documentary.

The rapist says that only 20% women are good (sadly, that is the mind-set), that her place is only in the house, that she should not have been out at night in the first place, and that she should not have fought back when she was assaulted.

Even the lawyers say that women must restrict themselves to their homes, and that their exposure to men is like how sweets or meat can attract dogs. One lawyer goes to the extent of saying that if his own sister or daughter goes out at night and shames herself like this, he would douse her in petrol and set her alight!

We see this remorse-less and shameless blaming of the woman, and not of the man! We see them speak like it is always the fault of the rape victim. And not of the perpetrator.

As a newspaper man, it is commonplace for me to report on news-stories of raped woman being killed by her family, for the sake of family’s ‘honour’! Many times, maniacal men’s barbaric actions are justified by pointing fingers at the assaulted woman.

The real global tragedy, therefore, is this archaic attitude. It is this mental disease that still affects many parts of the world. It is the disease of always blaming the woman, blaming her dress, blaming her upbringing, blaming her behaviour, but not the man!

As we commemorate March 8, as ‘International Women’s Day’, I think it is necessary that the ‘male kind’ rededicates themselves to fighting for a change of attitude.

Men should be taught, from the time they are little boys, the real value and worth of woman; and how she brings them into this world, and how she shares and cares.

Banning this video will not save the face of India. This video may actually educate people on dangers out there, and perhaps help in combating the attitude problem.

And, anyway, this is not about India alone. Negative attitude towards women is a global malady.

In my opinion, India is not shamed with this documentary. It is actually a very good wake up call, for all. In fact, when this rape occurred, India had risen up to the occasion, and protested loud enough for the whole world to hear it.

And, the fight must go on; to give women the respect and the dignity they deserve.