It was our intention to bring AOC readers the full length documentary ‘India’s Daughter’, previously banned in India and YouTube into India. Yesterday, April 16, India’s Supreme Court refused to lift the ban in India, with the next court date on May 27.
Installing the BBC full video last night, I see that the documentary is now frozen on the BBC Storyville website. This critically important loss of global free speech rights and artistic freedom is nothing less than astonishing, as this acclaimed documentary is now totally caught up in India’s court system, even though it is owned by the BBC/Storyville.
Further research not reported in the Times of India recap of yesterday’s court appearances explains what happened. One of the defense attorneys (who has his own problems if you read further) alleges that the film is ‘outcome of fraud and conspiracy’ hatched by documentary maker Leslee Udwin, BBC and a private news channel with advocate VK Anand.
The Brutal Rape and Disembowelment of Jyoti Singh
On Sunday December 16, 2012 the world was stunned to learn about the brutal gang rape of Jyoti Singh, 23, a talented young woman from Uttar Pradesh who had just completed her medical exams to become a doctor. The Guardian writes:
Speaking excellent English, she spent nights working in a call centre from 8pm until 4am, slept for three hours, then studied. Her ambition was to build and run a hospital in her family’s village. “A girl can do anything,” she would say.
The only girl with two brothers, Jyoti Singh — whose name means light and happiness — asked her father Badri Singh, to please take any monies saved for her wedding and help her with medical school expenses.
When Jyoti Singh’s body was found thrown on the street, she was alive in her eviscerated body. Demonstrations broke out all over India for weeks in a demand for gender equality. Many men joined the marches, horrified over what had happened to the young doctor riding a bus with her friend at 8:30 in the evening.
Rape Is A Global Epidemic, Including in America
Statistics about rape are notoriously difficult to validate. My own review of current rankings by country of rape statistics gave me five different rankings on the front page of Google.
Rape is hardly exclusive to India, where it’s estimated that a rape occurs every 20 minutes. We assume that number is significantly under-reported. In England and Wales, 85,000 women are raped every year. In Denmark, a country with gender equality embedded in the law, one in five women report being sexually assaulted — based on one source.
In America, a video has gone viral showing a young woman gang-raped by three men in Panama City, Fla over spring break. Hundreds of young revelers stood feet away and watched the unconscious victim being raped and no one tried to help.
More than one survey says that America is the rape capital of the world, with a woman raped every 6.2 minutes, and it’s been used in discussion about ‘India’s Daughter’. This dated Wonderlist comes up first in Google results, but a new link takes us to the most current list in which America is #3 and India is #5. Much of America’s statistic is driven by our inordinately large incarceration system, compared to other countries.
The Girl Is Always At Fault Say Lawyers, As India’s Women Lawyers Move Against Defense Attorneys
In the documentary, Mukesh Singh, one of Jyoti Singh’s six rapists (five convicted and one died in prison awaiting trial) is interviewed saying that the rape was Jyoti Singh’s fault :
When being raped, she shouldn’t fight back. She should just be silent and allow the rape… Then they’d have dropped her off after ‘doing her’, and only hit [her friend] the boy.
One of the most shocking aspects of ‘India’s Daughter’ is the view of ML Sharma, the defense lawyer representing the men convicted of raping Jyoti Singh. He said: