India’s daughter let down by government stupidity

The documentary film about the Delhi rape victim by Leslee Udwin and which was banned by a Delhi Court and the Indian government, was shown on Swedish TV tonight (available here till 7th April with Swedish text). I thought the authorities were being rather stupid in their knee-jerk reaction in imposing the ban. Now after seeing the documentary, it is apparent that I was being too kind. The stupidity was multiplied by idiocy. The ban does no service to India’s daughters.

The ban was for having “objectionable content” and because it might cause a “public outcry”. There should instead be a public outcry against their ridiculous ban. I found nothing derogatory at all about women in the film. In fact the attitudes displayed by the rapist (and his lawyer) were what I found most revealing. Their attitudes are no different to what is displayed by most of the male politicians (of all political hues). The argument made by the government that the film provides a platform for the condemned rapist does not hold and could only be put forward by someone who has not seen the film.

As a documentary, the film itself was a little patchy but very good in parts. But where it worked very well was in exposing the ingrained nature of the attitudes of people – male and female – when they have been brought up to see women as chattel.

It ought to be compulsory viewing for Rajnath Singh, all members of the BJP and the Delhi Court which banned the film. (Of course what ought to come first is that they all be required to exercise their minds before opening their mouths).

I was glad to hear that NDTV which was scheduled to screen the documentary today did not replace the film but just showed a slate with the film title for the scheduled duration of the banned documentary:

Screen grab from NDTV of a slate featuring India's Daughter titles


India’s NDTV has halted programming in protest at the banning of the BBC documentary India’s Daughter.

The network ran a slate referring to the film’s title, during the hour-long slot when it should have aired.

The film, which features an interview with one of the men convicted of the Delhi bus rape, was due to be broadcast by the channel on Sunday night.

But it was outlawed by the Indian authorities on the grounds of “objectionable content”.

Explaining its decision not to broadcast an alternative show from 21:00 to 22:00 local time (15:30-16:30 GMT), editorial director Sonia Singh said in a tweet: “We won’t shout, but we will be heard.”


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