Controversy over banning of India rape documentary

By Ali-Haider Hussain
Last night the BBC aired again its horrifying documentary named ‘India’s Daughter’, showing a full breakdown of the brutal gang rape and murder of medical student Jyoti Singh on a moving bus in Delhi in 2012.
The documentary showed the interviews with the family and friends of Jyoti, and even the rapists themselves. The views expressed by the rapists and the two defence lawyers have been so controversial that the Indian government has outlawed it on grounds of “objectionable content”.
New Delhi Television Limited (NDTV), an Indian broadcasting station, ran a slate when the decision to not broadcast the hour-long film was finalised. The editorial director Sonia Singh said on Twitter “We won’t shout, but we will be heard.”
I spoke with Narmeen Kamran, Demon Media’s Sports Editor about the situation and whether it was detrimental for the image of India. She said: “There is a rape problem in India but there is also a rape problem everywhere – 85,000 women in the UK are raped every year, and in India its 1 every 20 minutes.
“Yes it’s worse in India, but it’s not just India’s problem, with International Women’s Day yesterday, I think it was good to coincide with Women’s Day with the releasing of the film.”
The film seems to have rekindled international interests and attention for change in India three years after Jyoti’s rape.
The day after the Indian government banned the documentary, a 10,000-strong mob broke into a prison in Assam, beat an alleged rapist to death and hung his body up for public view.
The argument stands strong on both sides whether the film should be prohibited from being viewed due to it inciting a public uproar. But many have said that this uproar is what India and the rest of the world needs to shudder this poor perception of women.
The Indian government have said that the film won’t be broadcast because it is allegedly meant to defame India. Narmeen retorted: “It’s more covering themselves, even in the documentary it says that hundreds of members of parliament are being tried on counts of rape, embezzlement, fraud but they won’t ever get tried.
“I think it’s to protect them, rather than the image of India and what bad is it going to do if it isn’t shown in India? India already knows what it’s like. I think Indian people know the situation there, and banning the film won’t do anything.”

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