After banning the broadcast of a controversial film about the gang rape and murder of a woman in Delhi in 2012, India has asked YouTube to remove all the video site’s links on the subject. It objects to the rapist’s revelations, which blame the woman.
“We just forwarded the court order and asked them [YouTube]
to comply,” an official at the Ministry of Communications
and Information Technology told Reuters on Thursday, commenting
on the new film.
In “India’s daughter”, director Leslee Udwin documents a
crime committed in December 2012 in Delhi, when a gang of six
rapists abused and killed 23-year-old medical student Jyoti Singh
on a bus. It prompted a public outcry in India, where massive
protests took place and millions of people called for a change in
the justice system. The outrage led to a bill proposing 30 years’
jail for rapists and possible chemical castration.
The British documentary features an interview with Mukesh Singh,
one of four men sentenced to death, who said the victim was
culpable for the rape. “A girl is far more responsible for
rape than a boy,” he said. “She should just be silent
and allow the rape.”
Social media slammed Singh’s comments, which also triggered a
debate on gender inequality in India, Asia’s third-largest
economy and the world’s largest democracy.
On Wednesday, BBC aired the film in the UK, where about 300,000
tuned in. It was also possible to view it later on platforms such
“We believe that access to information is the foundation of a
free society,” said a spokeswoman for Google, which owns the
video-sharing site YouTube, as cited by Reuters. “We continue
to remove content that is illegal or violates our community
guidelines, once notified.”
Dear Indian govt, Ban this rapist mentality of people like
those rapists and their lawyers..not the documentary. #IndiasDaughter
— Siddharth Rajhans (@i_am_sidraj) March
YouTube didn’t confirm whether it had received the instruction
from the government, asking to remove the “very
sensitive” content from the website, according to the Indian
Zee News channel. However, the documentary is currently being
pulled from YouTube.
The video platform saw a heated debate in its comments section,
as some users furiously defended India and its culture, while
others stood up for not banning the film’s airing.
“Factual documentary, without unnecessary commentary. Very
well produced, capturing the indignation of the man on the street
at delayed justice and the impunity with which men rape
women,” a YouTube user commented on the video.
— Rahul Bajaj (@rahulbajaj) March
Indian authorities banned the documentary, saying that Udwin had
failed to get the requisite filming permission. India’s Home
Minister Rajnath Singh said in parliament that the documentary
was a “conspiracy to defame India,” as cited by the
International Business Times. He added “all options are
open,” speaking of acting against the BBC for broadcasting
the banned film.
In a statement on Wednesday, Delhi Police said it feared the
film’s screening had “created a situation of tension and fear
amongst women in the society” and a ban on the documentary
was crucial “in the interest of justice and maintenance of
public order,” as reported by AP.
“Everyone should watch the film. If a man can speak like that
in jail, imagine what he would say if he was walking free,”
the father of the murdered woman said in an interview with NDTV
“The documentary exposes what is happening,” he added.