“A girl should not resist rape. She should not fight back and let it happen.”

“Yeh toh sab karte hain.”

These are two of the many outrageous and derogatory comments of Mukesh Singh, the ‘protagonist’ of Leslee Udwin’s documentary ‘India’s Daughter’. Few people may find it absurd that Mukesh Singh (one of the convicts of Nirbhaya’s rape case) is addressed so. Yes, I call him the protagonist.  Given the fact that he blames the victim and is consequently heavily backed by his defence lawyer, justifies his role.

This 59 minute documentary was made to get an insight of why men rape. It was stated to be released on March 8, International Women Day but BBC4 released it on the evening of March 5. Within two hours of its release, it was banned by the I&B ministry. Now the question arises, why it was banned even though Nirbhaya’s parents had given the consent for the documentary to be aired? The answer is, the government thinks it would eulogize rape. To this, Javed Akhtar had rightly retorted,

“It is like saying that we should not show the after effects of the Tsunami or communal riots because that will glorify these disasters.”

We think censoring the video is the solution to the rape menace. What we tend to ignore that is still in our subconsciousness- is, this documentary is a reflection of what we are, a reflection of the harsh reality of our society. Banning this would prevent viewership of the majority of ‘unsafe masses’. But,this is a video that all MUST watch. It can be believed that if men watch it, many will realize that even their minds work like rapists. Strange,but true.

If we analyse without any prejudice, we will conclude soon that we have barely moved an inch forward since December 16, 2012 in preventing sexual crimes. It is actually abhorrent hearing the convict justifying his heinous crime. My blood still boils when I remember the ‘educated’ defence lawyer stating,

“If my daughter or sister goes out at night with an unrelated male friend, I will immolate her in front of my entire family.”

Difficult as it may be seem to swallow the fact,but an ‘outsider’ has unveiled the worst and the bitterest face of Incredible India. Hence, the safest option for the government was to ban the documentary to prevent any future upheaval.

Instances of rape or any sexual violence cannot be curbed overnight by death penalty or chemical castration. But, at least, banning will not solve this issue. The right approach is to watch the documentary so that we do not misinterpret the cause of sexual violence in India. As Udwin has rightly pointed out, the solution only lies in respect for women and gender sensitization.

The rapists all around ought to know that a Woman is NOT a commodity belonging to men who deserves rape as punishment for ‘transgression’. Rather, she is entitled to the same respect as bestowed upon Man.

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Author: shibangi dash
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