news Friday, March 06, 2015 - 05:30
By Vaishnavi Vittal The News Minute| March 6, 2015 I watched BBC’s ‘India’s daughter’ documentary last night soon after it was uploaded on YouTube.  A lot has been said about it in the last few days without having seen the film in its entirety. Clips of Mukesh Singh’s and the other convicts’ lawyers interview were online. But to see it in its entirety is a different matter. First things first. This isn’t a great film. It isn’t extraordinary. It isn’t telling us anything radically new. It isn’t going to change attitudes of people. It might make you more angry at the rapists, to hear what they did to Jyoti Singh, again. It will probably help keep the conversation going as far as safety is concerned. What angered and shocked me even more is what the lawyers say in this film. I don’t know what arguments they used in court when defending the accused, but the language they use in this film should be reason enough to arrest them and put them behind bars. We don’t need these kind of men. The legal system does not need them. India doesn’t need them. The world doesn’t need them. When one of the lawyers said “We have the best culture. In our culture, there is no place for a woman”, it shocked me more than when Mukesh Singh said victims shouldn’t fight back when being raped. I would expect him to say such a statement given the heinous crime he committed. If I delve deeper, look into his upbringing, the kind of people he hung around with as a child, I might be able to roughly map how he got to this point of no remorse. That does not justify what he did, but on a certain level puts things in a little bit of perspective. But for a lawyer, to say something so extreme, so disgusting, so backward, so ridiculous, stumps me. How are people like this even allowed to practice law?  To say a girl should be accompanied by her father, uncle, grandfather or grandmother instead of venturing out alone or with a male friend, is completely insane. So if I delve into the background of these lawyers, speak to their family and friends, how their childhood was, did they suffer any trauma, and so on, will it yield similar results as the same exercise carried out with the rapists? What makes these lawyers any different from the rapists? Apart from not having actually committed the crime? They seem to be thinking the same things. Their mindset seems to be the same.  This is no longer just about Jyoti Singh. It is no longer just about these rapists. It’s about a mindset. It’s about the way women are looked at. While we must work towards making our environment safer for women and punish rapists, what does one do about lawyers like this? For every rapist there is, a lawyer will not be far behind, I’m sure thinking similar things.  It’s one thing that the law allows such accused to have a lawyer, but to allow these lawyers to say such utterly nonsensical things in the name of defense is outrageous.  Read- Were you angry listening to the lawyers on India's Daughter? A petition calls for action I don’t know what the law says about allowing such a documentary to be aired when the case is still in court. Some say it’s unethical.  There are a number of questions to be answered about how the film-maker received access to interview Mukesh Singh in prison. Should they have used this interview to promote their film? Probably not.  Should the film have been banned? No. Watch it if you must. If you think it should be banned, then don’t watch it. What I did not particularly like about how it was made? Nothing earth-shatteringly new was being told.  Video of Mukesh Singh’s side profile shots and so on, was completely unnecessary. They have clearly done this for affect and ‘made’ him ‘do’ it.  Some shots of anonymous children were shown. Was permission taken? In some places, the faces of these children were clearly visible and not out of focus or blurred. I did not like this one bit.  One scene that stayed with me? A kid drinking something out of a plastic cup from a dustbin.  Why I think the film should not have been banned? Very rarely do we get to hear from the horse’s mouth. Very rarely will we hear a convict speak out about why he did what he did. You see the casual and easy-going manner in which Mukesh Singh justifies his crimes.  As far as Mukesh Singh’s threats about future rape victims goes, we need to believe we can do better than letting him scare us. Our government needs to believe they can put out more resources to ensure women are safe in every single corner of this country. If they think one teeny documentary can shake the nation, they are belittling themselves.  As for these sick lawyers, we women will go out at any time with any one. And that is our culture. Tweet  Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this articles are the personal opinions of the author. The News Minute is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability or validity of any information in this article. The information, facts or opinions appearing in this article do not reflect the views of The News Minute and The News Minute does not assume any liability on the same.

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