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Issue No.: 574 | April 2015
 

Daughter of India

Ashok Karnik
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Under an impressive sounding name of "Daughter of India’, a documentary.....real question was of the intent of the film 
Point                
  
Under an impressive sounding name of "Daughter of India’, a documentary on the infamous ‘Nirbhaya’ rape case was prepared for the BBC and was to be telecast on an Indian TV Channel too. The furor over the enterprise resulted in it being banned in India but the BBC aired it nonetheless. As usual the "Rights” groups stood against the ban and argued why a work of research should be banned. Social workers joined in to argue that it was necessary to study the mind of the rapists to deal with this social disorder. They also held that India was trying to hide its shame by banning a documentary about a gruesome rape. The rest of the country protested vehemently against further humiliation of the victim by allowing the rapist to narrate the ugly incident on a TV platform. Leslie Udwin, Director of the documentary, argued that the ‘Nirbhaya’ incident could not be kept a secret. She believed that the mind-set of the rapists had to be fathomed. She had taken all the permissions required and had not breached the law. The Editors’ Guild of India too opposed the ban and held that there was nothing obscene in the film and the rapists’ mind-set needs to be brought before the world. The existence of such a mind-set is itself an affront to humanity but allowing the rapist to use a TV platform to regurgitate his poison is no less an affront. 
Counter Point  

The real question was of the intent of the film maker. Was it to study the psychology of the rapists? Was it only to focus on the women’s plight in the world and particularly in India? Was the ‘Nirbhaya’ incident ever a secret and did it not get enough publicity earlier to awaken the entire country? The allegation that India was trying to hide a rape case was wrong as there was nothing left to hide in this particular case. Was it intended to use an already hyper publicized rape case to point out that a country of yogis and snake-charmers was also full of rapists? Do we not already know the perverted mind-set of such beasts that inhabit the human body? If sociological and psychological research was the aim, where was the need to use a mass medium like the TV to expose this illness in our society which was already exposed ten-fold? It is clear that under the guise of research and social awakening, voyeurism of the worst kind was resorted to. It is a specious argument that the society needs to be told about the existence of animals among human beings. The Indian society learnt enough and more when ‘Nirbhaya’ happened. Those who want to study the subject do not need exhibition of a girl’s victimization. If the aim was to show that India is a country where such brutal rapes take place the documentary did succeed. A ban does not work in this era of social net-working.          
Every issue has at least two sides. A wise person examines all sides before coming to a conclusion. This is an attempt to present various sides of an issue so that a considered opinion can be formed.

Readers are invited to email their points of view on serious issues of the day to ashokkarnik2001@yahoo.co.in

Readers who do not have the facility of a computer can also post (mail) their points of view on serious issues of the day to "Point Counter Point”, c/o Freedom First, 3rd floor, Army & Navy Building, 
148, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Mumbai, 400001.
 
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