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What does India’s Daughter teach us?

India's Daughter

India’s Daughter


Leslee Udwin’s documentary ‘India’s Daughter‘ for BBC Four has taken India by storm. It takes us through the dark night of 16th December 2012 when Jyoti (Nirbhaya) and her friend were attacked by a group of perverted animals (can’t call them humans). I won’t go into the reasons of it being banned or whether that’s the right or the wrong decision. But the question is, what does it teach us?

First and foremost, it’s like a mirror of the society for so many of us. We have always heard that woman are considered inferior to man. But this one proves that and more with the statements of the individuals involved. From Mukesh Singh (one of the rapists) to the lawyers AP Singh and ML Sharma, all of them reflect such narrow views which are commonplace in our society. Haven’t you heard any of them before?

“Why was she roaming around at night? A good girl doesn’t go about roaming with any individual in the night. She should only be with her father, brother, mother, grandfather, grandmother etc.”
“Our culture is the best culture. It has no place for women.”

“Why did she fightback? If she hadn’t, we wouldn’t have hit her or her friend. She should have let us do our job.”

“Girls are like flowers who need to be protected while men are like thorns.”

“If my daughter would go on a date with a guy, I will burn her in our farmhouse.”

The above statements are nothing surprising to be honest. It’s just that they were directly from the horse’s mouth. These lawyers are part of the top courts in the country but their patriarchal mindset is something which I am sure a lot of men can easily associate with.

Yes everyone has the right to have his or her own views. But the fact is because of such biased and narrow views, women face the wrath of men more often than not. It’s as if women have to follow all the rules and there’s nothing to control the libido of men.

There’s a problem with everything a woman does from eating to going out to her dressing sense and finally her friendship with men.

Secondly, this documentary just reinforces the view among a lot of people who consider women as nothing but objects who are there for titillation and enjoyment.

Yes, it talks about the landmark protests after the Nirbhaya incident. The case did bring about a change in the way that women today are more willing to come forward and report such incidents. The stigma associated with rape is also slowly but surely going away.

But the documentary ends with a sort of a warning for women –

Mukesh says – “Ok hang us and set a precedent. But next time someone rapes a woman, he would directly kill her.”

Hanging the rapists and setting a precedent is all well and good. But have we really tried to address the core issue? Why is it that so many parents are sad even today when they have a girl child? Why are women considered the weaker sex? Why don’t parents teach their sons to respect women the same way as they respect their sisters and mothers?

Until we consider women as equals and stop acting like the moral brigade, women would always need to be on the lookout for perverts on the prowl.

Linking to NaBloPoMo (National Blog Post Month – March – My post no 3 for this month.

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  1. This post means you have not seen the video very closely. If you closely observed you would have noticed that the convict’s statements were actually scripted. He was made to tell the words of the film maker whose main intention was to shame Indian men and India. The same thoughts you are also carrying forward in shaming your own nation and men around you. You thought a rapists view is the nation’s view, do you know how much you have degraded the men who fought for women’s rights. The outrage in India following the 2012 incidence was not enough for you , you want to see a criminals view as nation’s view. No wonder why it is said that no matter how much women get they are never satisfied.

    Now if you have seen the video closely read this and understand why I said the convict’s statement was scripted

    Additionally you need to know that he was paid 40K for the interview. Search for the news you will get it. Anybody who is getting death penalty, can do anything for 40K..hope you will refrain from shaming your own country in future.

    • aseemrastogi2

      Yes, Partha, I saw that news about Mukesh being paid. But I still believe that a lot of men do think this way and the fact that he was paid doesn’t really shift the fact that we still live in a largely patriarchal society where women aren’t considered equal to men in a variety of spheres.

      Moreover, I haven’t ever made any statements about the entire nation thinking this way. And neither have I said anything about those who fight for women’s rights. The point is we wouldn’t need people to fight for women’s rights if women are given equal rights in the first place. Don’t you think so?

  2. A very well written post Aseem. People who wanted the video banned were people who couldn’t bear to look into the mirror! Sigh!
    It shows the sorry state of affairs in our country. Where right from childhood a girl is treated differently than a boy. The problem is deeply rooted. How many parents can educate their sons rather than preaching their daughters? Even in the documentary the mother is holding her sons photo and crying ! What a shame!
    The documentary must be shown to every Indian citizen. This is what a majority of us think. This is what the person next to you on the bus or train could think.
    And what’s the proof of it? The increasing crime rates against women. The criminal does not drop from hell and commit crimes. He thrives in a society. Grows and lives in a culture where it is OKAY to behave wildly with women.

    • aseemrastogi2

      Totally agree Divyakshi. It feels awful watching the truth unfold in your face, doesn’t it? We all love watching something which is hunky dory. But when it comes to reality, we don’t care at all.

      And yeah, criminals thrive in a society where they have always seen women being treated this way. I am sure many of us would have seen in our own homes the way women are forced to bear hardships and troubles of different kinds.

      In the end, respect for women and treating them as equals starts from home seeing one’s family doing the same.

  3. It awful how we as people behave. I belive it cause from religious teaching. Glad I don’t worship the religion that is base from Abraham.
    Coffee is on

    • aseemrastogi2

      I would disagree that religion would play any part in the way women are treating. It’s all about what children learn at their homes from their families.

  4. Aseem – I read your post and I echo your thoughts. I also read Partha’s comments and I am wondering is the lawyers have also been paid. I don’t expect any decency from Mukesh Singh but what the lawyers said cannot be tolerated.

    • aseemrastogi2

      Yes I did read that Mukesh was paid. But honestly, I still feel that whatever he said is the thinking of a lot of Indian men even today. Again it’s not that everyone is like that but the fact that even a few think this way is horrible.

  5. There is so much corruption in Public Sector (read Judiciary) in India that one can not expect any sort of Justice. I just hope Indian men improve themselves.

    • aseemrastogi2

      Sadly, Alok that’s the case with a lot of Indian men who still stay in that patriarchal mindset where women aren’t given much importance and treated horribly.

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