BBC Documentary India’s Daughter: People Got it All Wrong


By Hari Dayal

BBC’s “India’s Daughter” by Leslee Udwin has stirred up unbelievable controversy. To make an independent assessment I watched it on YouTube and came to the conclusion that people who are demonstrating and raising hell have perhaps not even seen the documentary.

I subscribe to the viewpoint that freedom of speech has been oversubscribed by the liberals. For example, rationalizing M.F. Hussain’s nude paintings of Godess Durga on the grounds of freedom of speech was despicable. As such, my defense of India’s Daughter has nothing to do with freedom of speech. It has everything to do with the substance and the message of the documentary.

The chief accusation against the documentary is that it gives a convicted rapist on death row, Mukesh Singh, a platform to present his point of view regarding the heinous act and garner public sympathy. With that in mind, I watched every frame twice to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I hated the scum of the earth orders of magnitude more after I watched the documentary than I did before. How can anyone even think that what stupid things the guy said in the interview will persuade anyone to sympathize with him!

In fact, the net effect on me of watching the interview of Mukesh Singh in the documentary was that hanging was not adequate punishment for this evil person. He should be castrated one month before he is hanged!

Mukesh Singh’s stupid statements in the documentary are only surpassed by the statements of the two defense attorneys. It is understandable for an attorney to do everything and pull all kinds of stunts to defend her/his client, no matter what the attorney deep in her/his heart believes to be the truth. But, to spew the venom as these two attorneys have in the documentary puts the legal profession to shame. I am glad the Council is contemplating action against them- I wish it will throw the book at these unscrupulous members of their fraternity.

So, what is the message of the documentary? Is it that, as proclaimed by Mukesh Singh in the interview, rape is justifiable if a young woman is out at 9pm? Is it that likes of Mukesh Singh are worthy of sympathy? Is it that people should respect the out-of-the-court opinions of socially undeveloped defense attorneys just because they wear a black coat?

Hardly! On the contrary, the message is loud and clear. Rape is a heinous crime against women. Rapists are arrogant despicable animals who are not above making stupid arguments to justify their acts.
And, for that message Leslee Udwin and BBC deserve congratulations!

Banning the documentary is clearly not the solution; if you don’t let people see it, how would they know what is it all about? I don’t know how many politicians who are making ‘convincing’ accusations against the documentary have objectively seen it. Nevertheless, they have joined the tamasha. Sweeping the dirt under the rug, as politicians want to do, does not serve the purpose of educating people of the gravity of the problem. Another political reason for banning the documentary is that it might tarnish India’s image in the world. What a sorry excuse!

Why, you ask, the politicians have chosen to react the way they have. Please forgive me for answering a question with a question: Have you ever known a politician who will not do anything and everything for five votes!