Agra Village Screens Banned Documentary On Delhi Gang Rape

09/03/2015 1:27 PM IST | Updated 19/09/2016 1:19 AM IST
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The documentary, "India’s Daughter," banned for broadcast in India, was screened in a village in Agra on Sunday, International Women’s Day. Last week, the Indian government prohibited the telecast of the documentary on the Delhi gang rape on December 16, 2012.

Ketan Dixit, an independent documentary film-maker, who is also linked to the Stop Acid Attacks movement, organised the screening in Roop Dhanu village in Anwalkheda.

While the Modi government banned its viewing in India, BBC showed the documentary on Wednesday night, last week, ahead of its scheduled telecast for Sunday. On the same day, You Tube blocked the documentary.

Read: BBC Telecasts Delhi Gang Rape Documentary Banned In India

Read: YouTube Blocks Controversial BBC Documentary India's Daughter

Dixit said his screening was a "mark of protest against the ban" and that he was ready to "face any action that was initiated against him,” TOI reported.

The documentary has kicked off a storm of controversy in India because it features an interview with one of the convicted men, who blames the victim, a 23-year-old physiotherapy student, for the brutal gang rape in a moving bus on December 16, 2012. The victim and a male friend, who was also beaten, were thrown off the bus in a nearly naked state. She died two weeks after the horrific attack perpetrated by five men and a minor.

Mukesh Singh, the driver of the bus, who is presently being held in Tihar jail in Delhi, blamed Nirbhaya for being outside home at a "late” hour. “You can’t clap with one hand--it takes two hands. A decent girl won't roam around at 9 o'clock at night. A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy," he told BBC in an exclusive video interview. "Boy and girl are not equal. Housework and housekeeping is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night doing wrong things, wearing wrong clothes. About 20 per cent of girls are good," he said.

Read: Nirbhaya's Rapist Blames Her For December 16 Brutality

The Indian government doesn't want such repugnant views, which could spark outrage and threaten public order, to be broadcast in the country.

Dixit set up a huge projector in the village, some 40 kilometres from Agra, and an audience of about 60 to 70 villagers watched the documentary on makeshift screens made up of bedsheets. TOI reported that volunteers helped the villagers to understand the English-language documentary.

"After seeing the film, I think the rapists should simply be hanged," Meera Parmar, a village resident, told TOI. Deeksha, an 18-year-old, added that the film portrays the primitive and orthodox mindset of many in society. "Every woman should see it. The government should revoke the ban immediately.”

Dixit said he will also lodge a protest-petition online against the ban, HT reported. “The documentary has been telecast by BBC and is all set for release in US and in such scenario, there is no use banning."

Local authorities reportedly had no information regarding the screening. “The screening of this documentary is banned and if anyone has screened it then required action would be taken,” Additional District Magistrate Harnam Singh said on Sunday

night.

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