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Issue No.: 574 | April 2015

Daughter of India

Ashok Karnik
Under an impressive sounding name of "Daughter of India’, a documentary.....real question was of the intent of the film 
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.

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Other Articles in this Issue

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The Functioning of the Lok Sabha

S. V. Raju


Kisan Mehta, R.I.P.


From Our Readers

Jamsetji Tata

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Amartya Sen’s Outbursts on Being Denied a Second Term

N. S. Venkataraman

Growing Saffronization

Firoze Hirjikaka

Nagaland Lynching

Firoze Hirjikaka

Our "Inconsistencies"

A Lesson in Public Life from Rajaji and Masani


The Land Acquisition Bill

Hypocrites All!

S. V. Raju

The Land Acquisition Bill Not Convincing

N. S. Venkataraman

Point Counter Point : Every issue has at least two sides

Daughter of India

Ashok Karnik

Porbandar Boat Again

Ashok Karnik

Sensitive Documents

Ashok Karnik

Black Money

Ashok Karnik

The National Scene

Remembering Pandit Nehru’s ‘Tryst with Destiny’ Thereby Lies ... A Twist in the Tale

H. R. Bapu Satyanarayana

“Daughter of India” – The BBC Documentary - – Banning Not the Answer

Nitin G. Raut

Rahul Takes A Break

Firoze Hirjikaka

How to bolo the boli and chalo the boli


Ugly Truths about Young India

Dilip Thakore

Congress in reboot stage


Budget 2015-16

Budget 2015-16: An Evaluation

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Distortion, Damned Distortion and National Accounts Statistics

Sunil S. Bhandare

The 14th Finance Commission

S. Viswanathan

The Rural Perspective

Agriculture and Rural Indebtedness - VI

R. M. Mohan Rao

Foreign Relations in the 21st Century

Obama Came and Concurred: Convergences Enhanced and New Vistas of Cooperation Opened

B. Ramesh Babu

Pakistan’s Quest for Nationhood

Suresh C. Sharma

Warriors after War


Book Review


S. K. Rau


K. Natwar Singh

Educating Adults

Three Emerging Religious Icons for Maharashtra Politics

Sharu Rangnekar

Shortage of Qualified Teachers

Suresh C. Sharma

The Right to Sanitation as a Human Right

B. N. Mehrish

Sankranti Kanukalu (Gift on Sankranti)




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