Thursday, March 5, 2015

Stop wasting your time

The BBC Documentary, India's Daughter, that is making airwaves in the English media - which is a few thousands of a percentage of India's population - rightly puts a mirror at a mindset that is rampant in India. Although it only interviews the convict (whose case is under appeal in the Supreme Court) - and does a pretty bad job of it - it very well applies to a large, perhaps even a majority, of men and even women in India. While the liberal Left may rightly berate him, the truth is that you will find a lot of paying agreeing with what he said - both men and women.

It is sad then that the best response that the Union Government to think of was to ban the screening of the documentary. This is wrong on two counts. Firstly, it does not even come anywhere near to solving the issue. It is the same old concept of burying the issue and pretending it doesn't exist, when it very well does and is a very serious matter. As BJP MP Kirron Kher rightly asked, what is the point of doing campaigns like Beti Bechao if we are not going to address the fundamental issue head-on? There is only so much laws can do to prevent rape in a society where it is rampant - mindsets have to change and for that, we have to confront it first.

The second count on why banning it is useless is because to ban anything is redundant today - it just cannot happen. Information technology - which India knows very well - simply does not allow anything to be banned for long. Dictators might think they can ban Facebook or YouTube, but there are hundreds of ways to get over it. A democratic society cannot even hope to do it. Millions in India will watch that documentary over the next few days, ban or no ban. And the government is wasting its time in trying to use CERT-In to find each and every place the video keeps popping up: there is literally no end to this.

The real question on this particular documentary is why this rapist is still alive. Why does any criminal case take forever? Why do we have so few courts and judges? Why do judges hand out adjournments at the drop of a hat? How corrupt is out judicial system? These are not rhetorical questions - in Nagaland, a group of villagers lynched a rape-accused to death. People are losing faith in the Indian state, starting with those place where it hardly exists. This is the problem that Rajnath Singh should try to fix, not banning a documentary which is, after all, just saying what everybody already knows. 


Yawar said...

What is your stand on capital punishment for the convicts?

Sushobhan Sen said...

These two posts of mine should summarize my answer: