GT special correspondent in India Liu Cheng and GT special correspondent Liu Haoran
3 years ago, the Delhi bus rape in India had shocked the world. British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) using it as a theme has made a documentary film “India’s daughter”; the film was scheduled to be aired on March 8, International women’s day. However, the unexpected ban by Indian authorities just a few days before its broadcast in India on the plea that the issue was sensitive and could create public disturbance, has aroused much controversy.
The American Cable News Network (CNN) on March 4 quoted a Delhi Police spokesperson as saying, the local court has banned the broadcast of the documentary as it has the potential risk of creating disorder in society; police has already registered a case against such an incident. Indian channels as well as all the foreign channels which can be accessed by Indian viewers have been barred from telecasting the documentary. The attitude of the Indian authorities has puzzled the documentary filmmaker Udwin. She says, filming of the documentary had the approval not only of the victim’s family but also of the Indian Home Ministry and the prison authorities prior to the interview. According to BBC, any attempt to stop the film’s broadcast would be a violation of the right to freedom of expression. On March 4, the New Delhi Television channel (NDTV) website published a letter by Udwin drawing Indian Prime Minister Modi’s attention to the matter.
CNN says, the part of the BBC documentary which has worried the authorities the most is the 9 minute long interview with Musha (Mukesh), one of the main perpetrators of the bus rape crime. This murderer appears to have no regrets whatsoever while facing the camera and instead says forcefully, “decent girls should not be roaming around outside at 9’o clock in the night………….we have the right to teach them a lesson.” He said, had she not fought back, she could have “very well been alive”. According to Reuters, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh pointed out on March 4 that BBC filmmakers had committed irregularities while making the film; after shooting in the jail; they did not show the unedited version of the interview to the jail authorities, as required by the rules. He also added that that the arrogant remarks made by Musha (Mukesh) are “highly derogatory” and an insult to womanhood.