The question is not whether or not the Indian government did the right job banning the film. Its disputable. But Ms. Udwin undoubtedly did do a WRONG by releasing the film in spite of its ban. I don’t think she has the right to question the ban if she released it anyway. Secondly, why the focus on the rapist’s interview? Ms. Udwin herself said she was a rape victim too, how would she feel if an Indian filmmaker traced down the rapist and make him describe the exact chain of events remorselessly like a maniac and then stick to his claim that he did no wrong? How would she feel if someone makes a documentary on that? Moreover, she stated that the world rape toll statistics were cut from the BBC version because BBC is against using stats. It’s against their policy. Their RULES! Why no regard for Indian rules. Ban means Ban. Unless its lifted no release. DOT!
Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here. Maybe I’m being too harsh. Nevertheless, a dramatic chain of events has led me doubt the authenticity of the film. Firstly, why did Leslee Udwin leave India as soon as she was going to be charged. Why didn’t she sort out all legal issues before leaving? Why isn’t the ‘fearless’ Leslee Udwin not-so-fearless now? Doesn’t this remind you of the world famous Bhopal Gas Tragedy and Warren Anderson’s ‘strategic retreat? Secondly, isn’t it ironic that a culprit is paid for his interview? Ever heard of paid journalism? I think it’s like advertising a culprit. Nevertheless, BBC broke god knows how many laws whilst filming the interview. Third, isn’t BBC morally, ethically and legally responsible for the grave wrongdoing? Why no respect for the Indian judicial framework? In spite of strict instructions as to not showcase the film, BBC chose to play with fire and now I believe has to pay for it!
There are innumerous other parameters to impress upon but ultimately what is done is done. The film has been released. And half the world has seen. Maybe India has been thrown in a bad light. What else should we expect? Can we expect the teachings of Swami Vivekananda or Gandhiji from the mouth of a rapist? All we can do is appreciate the steps the governments have taken to stop this heinous deed and take care as far as possible never to let any such thing happen in our neighborhoods. Jai Hind!
Author's Note: This article (Kannada Translation) was published on 9th of March, 2015 in 'Vijayavani' a popular Kannada Daily.