Ban on India’s Daughter documentary disappointing, says World Sikh Organization

THE World Sikh Organization of Canada said on Thursday that it’s disappointed by the Government of India’s decision to ban the documentary India’s Daughter about the savage 2012 gang rape and murder of a student in Delhi.  The documentary explores the culture of rape in India as well as the background and mindset of the perpetrators of the 2012 crime that shook the country.

Indian Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh announced the ban on India’s Daughter, alleging that it encourages and incites violence against women.  Charges have been filed under the Indian Penal Code under sections dealing with insult to the modesty of a woman, creating public mischief, inciting breach of peace and intent to create fear or alarm in the general public.

The documentary was aired Wednesday night by the BBC and is scheduled to air in Canada on the CBC’s The Passionate Eye on Sunday evening, to coincide with International Women’s Day.

WSO President, Dr. Amritpal Singh Shergill said: “The documentary India’s Daughter provides an insightful look at the factors which contribute to India’s rape crisis.  Rather than trying to confront the culture of rape that exists in India, Indian politicians are more interested in silencing and censoring those that speak out. India must continue to mature into a democracy that values freedom of expression and tolerates criticism and dissent.”

WSO Senior Vice President Kulmeet Singh Sangha said: “The experience of the filmmakers behind India’s Daughter is mirrored by that of human rights activists across India.  Serious human rights issues are ignored and those who wish to raise awareness are intimidated and muzzled.  India’s Daughter raises issues critical to the safety of India’s women.  Those issues must be discussed and debated, not swept under the carpet.”


IANS adds:


New Delhi: The Editors Guild of India on Friday appealed to the government to revoke the ban on airing of the BBC documentary on the December 16, 2012 gang-rape, terming the move “wholly unwarranted”.
In a statement, the Guild said the documentary, ‘Storyville: India’s daughter’, portrayed the courage, sensibility and liberal outlook of a family traumatized by the brutality inflicted on their daughter, the continuing “shameful attitudes” towards women among the interviewed rapist as well as the educated, including the defence lawyers.
It said their rationale that the ban was in the interest of justice and public order as the film “created a situation of tension and fear amongst women”.
The statement also said that the convict would use the media to further his case in the appeal that was sub judice, seems to be an after-thought.
“The message that emerges from the documentary is wholly positive and its power is such as to make people re-examine their own attitudes and the attitudes of people around them,” it said.
The Guild appealed to the central government to revoke the ban and enable the people to view “the positive and powerful documentary touching on the freedom, dignity and safety of women”.
The documentary, by British filmmaker Leslee Udwin, has triggered an uproar over the interview of Mukesh Singh, one of the six rapists of the 23-year-old paramedical student.