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Lift the Ban on Documentary ‘India’s Daughter’

The short-sighted, reactive ban on the documentary ‘India’s Daughter’ by the RSS-BJP Govt. at the Centre must be harshly condemned. It is trying to project its indefensible act in the name of “nationalism” vis a-vis Congress as permission for filming the documentary was given in UPA’s tenure. It is its defensive response to the fact that the opinions expressed by the convict not only exactly match that of his lawyer, but are also the outdated anti-women views to which RSS itself subscribes. And these views are evoking outrage not admiration. Many of the RSS-BJP’s leaders have advocated the view that women should abide by ‘Lakshman Rekhas’ and a godman went on to say that the victim of the 16th December gangrape should have pleaded with the rapists as ‘brothers’; i,e, the essential position that women who get raped have only themselves to blame. This is insulting to women and a blatant lie.
That this thinking is prevalent widely in semi-feudal India is no secret and its root lies in the decadent social structure which allows patriarchy to flourish. It is also the thinking of the powerful in India- whether landlords, khaps, goons and mafia in rural India or many godmen, judges, editors, politicians of various ruling class parties and so on. Ex-CM of Delhi, Shiela Dixit, for instance, had blamed the murder of a young journalist of Delhi on the late hour at which she chose to return from work, as though women can flout the compulsions of the work place. Aam Admi Party which is running the Govt. in Delhi and whose activists had also taken part in the post 16 December agitation, is keeping mum on the raging debate though it concerns Delhi’s police and the Central Govt. on an issue involving Delhi.
To expose the dominant patriarchal understanding of India’s society is not to ‘attack sovereignty’. That is quite adequately compromised by the policies of the rulers to hand over minerals, land and resources of the country to corporate specially foreign companies, even rewinding LARR to restore the colonial law of 1894; to kowtow before US Govt. and US companies even subverting India’s own laws to meet their diktats, as on the nuclear deal. Thus the excuse of ‘attack on sovereignty does not behove the Govt. which is daily compromising it. The need of the hour is to acknowledge the need to change the perception regarding women in our society and to realize how it is rooted in the social structure, not to ban the airing of what is only one more revelation of the same. The BJP spokeswoman who spoke of the harm by this to tourism; putting the commercial need of foreign exchange before the need to speak up for women, reflects well the philosophy of this RSS led pro-corporate, pro-landlord govt. Delhi police has lodged an FIR at the behest of Central Govt., apparently frightened that the documentary will ‘reawaken’ protests seen after 16th December. Delhi police has always been known to be more against protestors than against crimes. The FIR, lodged on the basis of petty technicality must be withdrawn. The ban on the documentary should be lifted.

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