India’s Daughter: A much needed reality check.

After the brutal case of the Delhi gang rape case in 2012, there has been a mass hysteria all across India and various protests have been conducted throughout the country. It truly sent a chilling effect across the world.

Women all across India, specially in Delhi, protested on the streets with lot of aggression, demanding justice for the victim and for the plight of Indian women who have been subjected to such crimes and have been silenced.

Regarding this, a documentary on this case was broadcasted by BBC channel, directed by Leslee Udwin, on which a new series of protests have started.  

The documentary goes into the deep roots of our Indian culture, and how Indian culture is responsible for producing such monsters who commit such crimes. 

According to one of the convicts, Mukesh Singh,

“A decent girl won’t roam around at 9 o’clock at night. … Housework and housekeeping is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night doing wrong things, wearing wrong clothes.”

Now, the question arises that  doesn’t the average Indian hold the same values as this criminal? Haven’t we heard our uncles, aunts, relatives, husbands, MILs, FILs, speak the same language as him? Use the same sentences? Try to make us more “cultured” by using these very statements?

Haven’t we heard our own fathers say this us?

If no, I am sure it is an utter lie to yourself, or to me. Honestly, I have heard this statement from my father several times.

Now, the question arises that what is a difference between the mindset of this criminal and our own uncles and fathers?

It is the culture of shame, honour, and patriarchy, due to which a lot of crimes against women is silenced.
It is this culture of shame that perpetuates such crimes in large numbers. Even cases like domestic violence, dowry harassment, forced marriages, get brushed under the carpet and there is a great deal of “shame” associated with it. 

Even worse, we hear this defense lawyer, A.P Singh saying this ...if my daughter was having premarital sex and moving around at night with her boyfriend, I would have burnt her alive. I would not have let this situation happen. All parents should adopt such an attitude.”

Sadly, this mentality is horrifyingly common and is deeply ingrained in Indians. Even we hear young boys and girls make such statements.

Interestingly, this video was banned from being broadcasted in India by court order.

What interested me is that I hear a journalist yelling “This is an internal matter!” and “Why foreigners are making a documentary on Nirbhaya?” and “Privacy issues of revealing her name and graphic description of rape?” 

Now I have a few counter questions on such questions:

  • What happened to “internal matters” when Indian media digs into foreign cases and splashed it all across papers?
  • Doesn’t someone need to address the real issue and roots of such crimes and bring it out to the world?
  • How can we know the root cause of such problems if we keep brushing everything under the carpet due to “shame”?
  • What is the harm if a foreigner takes the initiative and makes a documentary on our already messed up country?
  • Are you afraid that this documentary will bring out your own regressive thoughts?
  • Do you think that just by burying your heads in sand, the problem will just vanish?
  • Are you afraid that the criminal’s sentences will remind you the same sentences made by your father, mother, uncle, brother, etc.? 
  • Her parents proudly gave her name as they were  not ashamed of her.  What happened to your “Matru-Pitru devo bhava” (Mothers-Fathers are like Gods) status now?
  • Has the victim done anything wrong that we are worried to disclose her name despite her parents’s consent? 
  • Are you afraid that India’s ugly side will be now known to the world and will being “shame” to your “best culture”?

Note: It is the very act of banning to prevent  “shame” of India to the world. It is this very  “shame” and “honour” due to which such heinous crimes perpetuate. I fail to understand how can someone not connect the two.

Once again, huge thanks to BBC for ignoring the request of the ban and going ahead with broadcasting this documentary.


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