India’s Daughter, a harrowing documentary that charts the brutal 2012 gang rape and murder of a young woman in Delhi, was screened last night on BBC4.
India’s Daughter, a documentary about the brutal gang rape and murder of 23-year-old medical student Jyoti Singh on a Delhi bus in 2012 and the month-long street protests that followed, aired on BBC4 last night. The broadcast was brought forward from its intended release date on International Women’s Day, following huge interest.
The film, made by BAFTA-winning producer Leslee Udwin and partnered by organisation Plan International, has been banned in India, after the government objected to it being released without its input. The BBC has defended its decision to broadcast the film, which explores both the crime itself and its cultural context.
Street protests following the brutal attack in December 2012
The documentary includes a shocking interview with one of the convicted attackers, in which he remains unapologetic and blames the victim for the crime. ‘A decent girl won’t roam around at nine o’clock at night. A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy,’ he says. ‘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 the boy.’
The victim’s father has spoken out against the ban in India, urging people to watch the film, saying that it ‘holds up a mirror to our society’. Actress Freida Pinto, a Plan ambassador, has also added her voice to protests against the ban. ‘This is a wake-up call to much-needed global action,’ she says. ’The shocking brutality of the gang rape and murder of my Indian sister Jyoti Singh is an extreme example of the violence women and girls face globally every day. It has to stop.’
Actress Freida Pinto has spoken out in support of the film
Jyoti Singh was attacked in December 2012 following an evening trip to the cinema with a male friend. The pair boarded a bus home, on which Jyoti was brutally gang raped and then murdered by five men and a 17-year-old boy. Her death sparked a month of street protests across Indian cities.
The film is part of a larger campaign to tackle gender inequality and violence against women in India, targeting 20 million school children and rural communities. Currently, a woman is raped every 22 minutes in India and research from Plan has revealed that a third of young women in the country have been physically abused, rising to 37 per cent in rural areas.
You can watch India’s Daughter on BBC iPlayer. Read more about the film on the Plan UK website.