Days after the launch of the movie “50 Shades of Grey” the world over, where BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Sadism and Masochism) erotic practices are shown – a movie and a story where women are depicted akin to sex slaves to a rich handsome guy, we have in India and the world, a controversy about a documentary “India’s Daughter”. A documentary on a young girl who was brutally raped and left to die on the road along with her friend. This documentary, which hinges on the testimony of one of the rapists – shot without his consent or knowledge – and arguments from his Defense lawyers, viewers are left without any idea of what the prosecution thinks or what the victim’s friend – himself a victim that night – thought of it? Such is the weight and halo given to the rapist’s rather gruesome testimony with detailed graphic content of how she was raped and killed, that many this writer has interacted with, believe that rapist’s version was the correct version of the events that night! If the derivative public view in the world – God-forbid – been that of a jury, we would have the most bizarre situation where the rapist would have simply walked out. In fact, a halo is already being constructed around the juvenile who violated the girl with an iron rod and pulled her entrails out! (Juvenile rapist in 2012 New Delhi assault now paints and cooks at correction home) All this in the name of “Free Speech” and – if we can actually fathom it – to further “Feminism”. Just that this liberal anachronism of those who have loved India’s Daughter flies in the face of decent even normal, human conduct. In a detailed article in European Journal of Law and Technology, Helen Boyle (Boyle, H. ‘Rape and the Media: Victim’s Rights to Anonymity and Effects of Technology on the Standard of Rape Coverage’, European Journal of Law and Technology, Vol. 3, No. 3, 2012) has cited an interesting study:India's Daughter: Voyeurism as Journalism to Shame a Nation Click To Tweet
Karen Dill cites a study which exposed some men to scenes from the films Show Girls and 9 ½ Weeks, including a striptease and a blindfolded woman; which emphasised female degradation, availability and submission and male power, dominance and sexual gratification. The men were then asked to read accounts of date rape or stranger rape. Those who were exposed to the media degradation of women were much more likely to say that in cases of date rape, she got what she wanted or that she enjoyed it [Dill, 2009].
In the modern world of unabashed erotic titillating and submissive practices, we have the Western Media patronize India on the mindset problem of its male population. That the rapist blames the raped – which is shown in sickening detail in the movie – is somehow characterized in the media as a decidedly “Indian – and by extension, a Hindu – Problem”. Somehow, degradation of women and high number of rapes notwithstanding in the West, accompanied with extremely low conviction rate in rape cases in Europe (7% in UK for example) vs India (24%) – this documentary has been touted as a “Gift to India“. Thank you very much! Meanwhile, the only sane human being alive from the scene of the crime – Nirbhaya’s friend – has this to say about the movie and its claims:
“The documentary is unbalanced as the victim’s viewpoint is missing. The facts are hidden and the content is fake. Only Jyoti and I know what happened on that night and the documentary is far from truth,” says Avanindra Pandey who fought with the rapists and murderers to save his friend but was overpowered and beaten up brutally. Backing his claim, Pandey said he had never heard the name of tutor Satendra, who features in the documentary. “Moreover, how does he know which movie I wanted to watch on that night,” asks Pandey. The man who appears as the tutor of the victim in the documentary said, “Avanindra Pandey wanted to watch an action film while Jyoti wanted to watch ‘Life Of Pi’.” The interview of the death row convict created a massive public uproar and controversy after it was made public in which he held girls more responsible than boys for rape. Pandey says, “A controversy was created unnecessarily and was sensationalised. The documentary made fun of emotions and questioned the law and order situation in our country.”
He discusses another person which the movie uses a lot is some “Tutor of Jyoti” – a friend. Avanindra, a close friend of Jyoti, strangely does not recognize the person! A case of fake strawman planted to mouth the script of the predetermined stereotypes the documentary maker – and her sponsors – wanted to depict in the movie?
BBC’s documentary violated Nirbhaya in her Death
Under section 1 of the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992, if Nirbhaya was alive, showing what the documentary did would be illegal in the UK. Just the fact that the victim is dead is enough to violate her dignity.
In the UK, victims of rape or serious sexual assault have unequivocal anonymity and protection from media intrusion under section 1 of the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992. This is a statutory exception under Art 10(2) which allows for derogations on the basis of protecting the rights and freedoms of others. This means the names of victims of rape or sexual assault cannot be reported by the media.