Outrage over move to stall film on Dec 16 rapist

  • Soumya Pillai, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 11, 2015 15:17 IST

The decision of Delhi Police to lodge an FIR and move court to get a restraining order against the screening of Leslee Udwin’s movie ‘India’s Daughter’, based on the December 16 gang rape, has evoked mixed reactions from people across the Capital.

Delhi Police commissioner BS Bassi said that the movie carried “offensive content” and was likely to disrupt peace if screened.

Sucheta De from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), who had spearheaded the protests against the brutal gangrape of 2012 — which had led to the death of the victim, said the police move to silence a nationwide movement was ridiculous.

“What kind of peace is a movie, addressing a larger issue of rape and women’s safety, likely to disrupt? The December 16 gang rape and the protests that followed was a watershed moment in the history of Indian society. It showed the ability of people to voice their angst against crimes committed against women. India takes pride in this movement and the world looks up to us for it,” said De.

Shahnawaz Jaman, a Delhi University student who partcipated in the movement said, “This is not just a mockery of the movement but it also curtails artistic freedom. There is no action taken when politicians and godmen make blatant comments insulting women but showing the mirror, pointing out an existing problem is criminal.”

Kavita Krishnan, secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association, however disagreed with the popular belief.
“It was immensely irresponsible to allow the interview to happen when the case is still under appeal. The comments of Singh which she is highlighting in the movie are not something which is the exclusive mindset of Indian men but is known to be the mentality of rapists across the world. Why encourage public trial of the case outside court?” Krishnan said.

She said the release of the movie was an impediment to the process of dispensing law and justice. On her Facebook page, she quoted her experience of meeting the filmmaker.

“On meeting me, she asked ‘Have you participated in the protests?’ I did a bit of a double take: if she didn’t know I had participated in the protests, why was she interviewing me? Since she planned to interview me, should she not have done some basic homework -- about my work, my views, my intervention in the movement? If these didn’t matter to her film, what was the perspective of the film? I frankly said some of this to her, suggesting that she should do some more homework on the protests and on the women’s movement in India,” (sic) her post read.

The post continued reading, “Speaking to her, I realised that she wasn’t familiar with other movements on gender in India, or with the history of the women’s movement in India.”

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