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India’s Daughter is a BBC documentary about the brutal gang rape and murder of Jyoti Singh, a 23-year-old woman who had just completed her medical exams to become a doctor, in New Delhi on 16 December 2012.
The incident provoked outrage across the world, not least in India, where protests were held (mainly by women, and which occasionally turned violent) across the country. However, despite much soul searching by many in India, director Leslee Udwin found herself horrified by the attitudes she encountered while making the film,
‘I made a film on rape in India. Men’s brutal attitudes truly shocked me.’
The aspect of the film that has caused the greatest controversy is an interview with Mukesh Singh, driver of the bus and one of the men convicted for the rape and subsequent murder. Speaking from death row in Tahir jail, Delhi, Singh shows no real remorse at his actions,
‘You can’t clap with one hand – it takes two hands. A decent girl won’t roam around at night. A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy … about 20% of girls are good. She should just be silent and allow the rape. Then they would have dropped her off after ‘doing her’ and only hit the boy. The 15 or 20 minutes of the incident, I was driving the bus. The girl was screaming, ‘Help me, help me.’ The juvenile put his hand in her and pulled out something. It was her intestines …We dragged her to the front of the bus and threw her out.’
India’s Daughter was to be broadcast on International Women’s Day, 8 March, on BBC4 and Indian TV station NDTV 24×7, but an embarrassed Indian government earlier this week prohibited any Indian TV station from broadcasting it, and demanded that the BBC also pull its broadcast.
In a move designed to pre-empt legal attempts to prevent the showing of India’s Daughter in the UK, and much the fury of the Indian government which is now threatening the BBC with legal action, the BBC aired the documentary on Wednesday night, where it was watched by nearly 300,000 people.
In a defiant move, the BBC also made the hour-long documentary available on YouTube so that it could be watched by viewers in India, although it did not take long for the Indian government to start blocking links to the film and to force YouTube to remove the film from its India website.
Now, it has been argued that India’s Daughter paints a simplistic picture of Indian male attitudes to rape, and to women in general, that many in India are well aware of the problem anyway, and that it almost certainly does not give enough credit to the many Indian men who respect woman and were deeply shocked by the events in 2012 (among other similar cases ), but as Jyoti Singh’s father, Badri, said yesterday,
‘Everyone should watch the film. If a man can speak like that in jail, imagine what he would say if he was walking free… The documentary exposes what is happening.’
Although the Indian government is doing its best to block India’s Daughter, bypassing this censorship is a trivial matter using either VPN or Smart DNS (VPN is better for all-round security and privacy, while SmartDNS is better for just watching geo-restricted media). Both technologies allow you to geo-spoof your location so that you can access the internet as if from outside India.
India’s daughter is available on YouTube, and on BBC iPlayer until Wednesday 11th March, and to access it you must appear to be in the UK (almost all VPN and SmartDNS providers run servers located in the UK).
We also imagine the India’s Daughter is available to download from your favourite BitTorrent site, which has the advantage that it can then be reproduced for viewing offline by those with limited or no internet access…