Holy Hormones Journal: Have you heard of the documentary “India’s Daughter” I heard of it a week or so ago, but time to did allow me to catch up with the documentary until I heard a report on CNN this morning discussing the controversial film that is rocking the social media world – and dividing countries and now banned by the parliament in India citing that excerpts from the film “appear to encourage and incite violence against women.”
Does the documentary – produced by a woman really encourage and incite violence against women – or is it bringing the insidious issue to the global consciousness. The BBC documentary was originally supposed to air last Sunday night for “International Women’s Day” but at the last minute rescheduled to Wednesday night, March 4.
CNN reported on excerpts of the film:
In one scene, an Indian justice describes how she has been unable to make sense of such a horrific attack. In another, a former Delhi minister places the blame on a society that puts girls and women second to men from the moment they are born — one where patriarchal practices become ingrained in children from an early age.
“These were ordinary, apparently normal and certainly unremarkable men,” the film’s director Leslee Udwin said of the culprits. But her film illustrates how even people with power in India harbor shockingly similar attitudes.
One of the lawyers who represented the attackers is seen in the film saying that he would burn his own daughter alive if she behaved dishonorably.
Another psychiatrist in the film states that there are men sitting in jail in India who have committed over 200 rapes and yet are being charged with only 12.
The article below is an interview with the film maker and her reasons for making this film. She states that it was the country-wide protests amidst “ferocious government crackdown” that gave her hope and optimism because “ordinary” men and women were protesting for the rights of women. According to Udwin, no other country has done that before. Do you remember those days and weeks of protests?
It took courage and strength to conduct the interviews she did and now to stand the barrage of controversy surrounding her work. But, the media attention is bringing light to an issue that has gone on unnoticed for too many years.
If it happens to one woman – it happens to all of us.
India’s Daughter: ‘I made a film on rape in India. Men’s brutal attitudes truly shocked me’
February 25, 2015
Jyoti Singh, 23, had cause to celebrate. It was no ordinary Sunday. “Happiness was just a few steps away,” says her father, Badri Singh, a labourer. He and his wife, Asha, originally from Uttar Pradesh, had sold their family land, to provide schooling not just for their two sons but also Jyoti. “Papa,” Jyoti had instructed her father. “Whatever money you’ve saved for my wedding, use it for my education.” Badri’s brothers wondered why he was wasting money on a girl.
On this Sunday, 16 December 2012, Jyoti, a name that means light and happiness, had just completed her medical exams to become a doctor. 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.
But that evening, in Delhi, she decided to go to the cinema to see The Life of Pi with a male friend. At 8.30pm, on the way home, the pair got into an off-duty charter bus. India’s Daughter, a powerful, brave and heart-wrenching documentary made by Leslee Udwin, provokes grief and anger but also pity for the ignorance. It charts what then happened on that moving bus as Jyoti was brutally raped by five men and a 17-year-old (“the juvenile”), eviscerated, then thrown on to the street. It shows how for the next 30 days across India, women and men demonstrated on the streets of the country’s cities, calling for the equality recognised in India’s constitution but never delivered, marking what a former solicitor general, Gopal Subramaniam, calls in the film “a momentous expression of hope for society.”
“It was an Arab spring for gender equality,” Udwin says. “What impelled me to leave my husband and two children for two years while I made the film in India was not so much the horror of the rape as the inspiring and extraordinary eruption on the streets. A cry of ‘enough is enough’. Unprecedented numbers of ordinary men and women, day after day, faced a ferocious government crackdown that included teargas, baton charges and water cannon. They were protesting for my rights and the rights of all women. That gives me optimism. I can’t recall another country having done that in my lifetime.”