Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 8th 2015 Contents A36
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt March 8, 2015
The director of a documentary
about the gang rape and murder
of a woman in Delhi has said
India committed "international
suicide" by banning the film and
asking for YouTube to remove all
links to it.
The film, India s Daughter, was
broadcast in Britain last week on
BBC4 and many YouTube users
have posted a recording of the pro-
gramme on the site. It is available
until Wednesday night in the UK
Indian police said the ban was
imposed as comments in the film
by one of those convicted of the
crime created an atmosphere of
"fear and tension."
Leslee Udwin, the British direc-
tor of the documentary, said: "My
whole purpose was to give a gift
of gratitude to India, to actually
praise India, to single India out as
a country that was exemplary in
its response to this rape, as a coun-
try where one could actually see
"The supreme irony is that they
are now accusing me of having
wanted to point fingers at India,
defame India, and it is they who
have committed international sui-
cide by banning this film."
The filmmaker said she was
inspired to make the film in the
wake of protests in India over the
December 2012 rape and murder
of a young physiotherapy student
on a bus.
The government toughened its
rape laws in response to the outcry
following the fatal attack, but still
on average a rape is reported every
21 minutes in India, and acid
attacks, domestic violence and
molestation are common.
India s Daughter contains an
interview with Mukesh Singh, one
of four men sentenced to death
for the rape, torture and murder
of a 23-year-old woman on a mov-
ing bus. In the film, Singh blames
the victim for resisting rape.
Udwin said banning the film had
brought India into disrepute by
obstructing free speech, one of the
essential elements of democracy.
The filmmaker said that if given
a chance she could persuade India s
prime minister, Narendra Modi, to
allow the screening.
"If [Modi] spent one hour seeing
this documentary, he would see
his own statements since he got
into power reflected in this film.
The film is saying exactly what
he s saying with his Beti Bachao
campaign," said Udwin.
Launched in January, the "Beti
Bachao, Beti Padhao" (Save the
Daughter, Teach the Daughter)
campaign is aimed at balancing
India s child gender ratio, which
skews toward boys due to sex-
selective abortions, and improving
gender equality through access to
education. (The Guardian UK)
Ban on rape film 'international
suicide' says director Udwin
Leslie Udwin, director of the film
I am that woman who works
late at the office and goes through
the scary process of standing on
a pavement in New Delhi hailing
a three-wheeler "auto-rickshaw"
or a battered taxi in a futile
attempt to get home.
I am that woman who receives
calls from friends while travelling
in taxis late at night: they call and
ask to stay on the line "just in
I am that woman whose hus-
band sends her mobile phone mes-
sages asking for location updates.
And yes, I am also that woman
whose mother, who lives in distant
Australia, sends text messages to
ask if I am home yet.
I, along with millions of women
who call this city home, am that
Now let me tell you about what
it is like for a woman in Delhi once
she does manage to flag down an
auto-rickshaw or a taxi.
The experience is often uncom-
fortable and, all too often, fright-
ening, despite Delhi being one of
the most densely populated cities
in the world.
On any evening, when millions
of us working women are making
the trip home or heading out to
meet friends, or just generally try
to get from point A to point B, the
final destination could not come
A combination of a few of the
following things is often enough
to make me have second thoughts
about my chosen mode of trans-
port: the taxi driver is looking at
me in a lewd manner in his rear-
view mirror it s either too hot or
too cold to roll down the taxi s
heavily tinted windows the streets
through which the taxi is travelling
are poorly illuminated or there does
not seem to be any people within
hearing distance if I had to scream
I, like so many women, and men
for that matter, am worried, frus-
trated and tired of the situation.
We would like solutions to what
seems to be a never-ending chal-
lenge for modern, progressive
Sure, it is disappointing that one
transport service, Uber, that
appeared to provide a safer, more
efficient option has, for now, been
banned from operating in Delhi.
But the alleged rape that led to
this ban is even more of a reason
for our interminable frustration.
We are troubled, angry and dis-
appointed that India, nearly two
years after the brutal gang-rape of
a medical student on a bus in New
Delhi, is still struggling to deal with
what is a chronic problem.
Stricter laws have been put in
place and public-awareness ini-
tiatives launched, yet with every
new case that emerges---on average
at least one a day hits the head-
lines---the hope that things are
changing diminishes just that little
India is still grappling with the
ugly reality that brought it to a
standstill in 2012 and drew the
world s attention to the indecent,
demeaning and at times violent
treatment of thousands of women
across the country.
Scarier still, for every one case
reporter follow, undoubtedly many
more cases go unreported and
The unreported and unnoticed
cases involve women just like me.
We are all angry. We are all tired.
And we all want our safety to be
At home, at work and in public
places. (Al Jazeera)
'I am that woman'
Young Indians face daily struggle...
A model wears a creation for Vivienne Westwood's ready-to-wear Fall-winter
2015-2016 fashion collection during the Paris Fashion Week, yesterday, in Paris.
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