Watch it while you can, before the powerful documentary is pulled from YouTube once again. India’s Prime Minister is desperate to prevent the film from being viewed in Indian because it reveals deep and abiding violent sexism in the nation which proudly proclaims itself to be the world’s largest democracy.
The focus is on a violent and fatal gang rape, and criminals who justify their action on that hoariest and most deplorable of rapist excuses, “She was asking for it.”
We had planned to post a better quality version from Vimeo, but that company has removed all copies of the video. While YouTube had originally also withdrawn videos, copies are again available, though at lower resolution than the Vimeo version we had seen.
From BBC’s Storyville via vlogger Sourabh Anand:
India’s Daughter Storyville, BBC Four, Full Video
India’s Daughter – Storyville, BBC Four
The documentary on ‘Nirbhaya’ gang rape that happened in Delhi on December 16, 2012. Directed by Leslee Udwin and broadcasted on BBC Four Storyville.
The documentary was supposed to be broadcast on March 8, 2015 (International Woman’s Day) but the date was brought forward and it was televised on March 4 following a ban on the television broadcast of the documentary by the government of India.
The ban was imposed apparently due to a controversial interview of one of the convicts by the name of “Mukesh Singh” who showed no remorse for the crime he had committed.
Some background on the ban, via the Guardian:
Indian government remains defiant over ban on BBC rape documentary
- BBC film India’s Daughter, about the fatal gang-rape of a Delhi student, was banned in the country, with government threatening legal action against BBC
The Indian government has remained defiant over its ban on a BBC documentary about the 2012 fatal gang-rape of a student in Delhi despite a groundswell of acclaim for the film from prominent Indians who watched it online.
After India’s Daughter broadcast in the UK on Wednesday night, the hour-long film surfaced on YouTube, where the Guardian was able to view it on Thursday afternoon despite reports in Indian media that the government had ordered it be taken down.
India’s home minister, Rajnath Singh, has threatened to take action against the BBC, though did not elaborate on what form this may take, save that “all options are open”.
Police in Delhi continue to pursue the investigation against filmmaker Leslee Udwin, who has left the country, and her Indian crew. Officers visited the homes and offices of Indian crew members on Thursday in a bid to collect the entire footage of the film.
We have no admiration for Modi, a man who is eager for his country to adopt GMOs because, in part, his literal readings of ancient Indian religious texts have convinced him that his ancestors had genetic modification, stem cell research, space ships, automobiles, and the like thousands of years ago.
His favorite example and proof of genetical technology is the elephant-headed god Ganesh.
From the Independent:
That Modi supports theories such as Ganesh’s head is well known. He has spoken about them before and propagated them in schools when he was chief minister of Gujarat, writing the preface of a book that claimed the ancient inventions of motor cars, airplanes and origins of stem cell research.
In a similar vein, Modi’s water resources minister, Uma Bharti, has revived a geological search for the mystical River Saraswati, which is mentioned in Vedic texts and is alleged to flow roughly parallel to the Indus from the Himalayas to the Arabian sea.
Even under the recent Congress government, the Archaeological Society of India, an official body that is in charge of ancient monuments and sites, last year authorised a (fruitless) dig under an old fort in Uttar Pradesh after a seer had dreamed that 1,000 tonnes of gold were buried there.
The notion of women as equal, creative, and positively sexual beings doesn’t appeal to Modi or for that matter Muslim, Christian, and Jewish fundamentalists, who all agree that women are better seen than heard — and when seen must be concealed behind garb that leaves everything to the imagination and nothing to the eye, and have no place in realms traditionally dominated by men.
All agree that women are sexually dangerous, object to be covered and sequestered, as in the case of America’s stalwart ally, Saudi Arabia, where women aren’t allowed in public without male escorts and must never, ever drive themselves anywhere.
Women who defy conventions, in the eyes of fundamentalists, are simply asking to be raped, and in a country like India where female foetuses are regularly aborted to avoid the high costs of dowries, the resulting sexual imbalance ensures an ample supply of men with no marital prospects and high levels of testosterone. Combine frustration with beliefs that facilitate blaming the victim, and stories like those in the documentary become increasingly likely.
Modi’s efforts to ban the BBC documentary are hardly surprising.
As the Times of India reports, more than half of the Indians surveyed believe a husband has every right to beat a wife.
But as the paper reported in another story Thursday, things may be changing:
Rape accused dragged out of jail, lynched in Nagaland
A man, accused of raping a girl, was beaten to death today after being pulled out of a jail by a mob at Dimapur in Nagaland.
A mass protest rally against the rape was held at Dimapur this morning after which students and angry people forced into the district jail and managed to pull out the accused.
The accused had allegedly raped the victim several times on February 23 and was arrested the following day following a complaint lodged by the victim.
The police resorted to blank firing and fired tear gas shells but failed to control the situation, officials said.
Lynching isn’t the answer, but the mass action itself indicates the growing frustration of many in a country where sexual violence, bothing in beatings and in rapes, is all too readily condoned.