I am furious with the banning of the documentary, not the documentary itself. The government has made a counter productive and short-sighted move which would only serve to further tarnish our image in the world.
Courtesy: The Hindu.
Judging by the top answers which are quoting statistics out of context and miss the point by asking for documentaries on "UK's" and "USA's" daughter, I believe this question warrants the same answer as I gave in "Why are there so many rapes in India" almost half a year ago, let me repost that here:
It is because we refuse to admit it when there is one! The top answer goes on a long diatribe trying to "prove" the point by comparing it with a country with an even more number of rapes - just great! It refuses to even acknowledge that a vast majority of rapes go unreported in our country.
The ‘Study on Child Abuse India 2007’ revealed that more than 51% of children in India have probably been sexually abused and many have never shared the fact of this abuse with anyone. It is estimated that 150 million girls and 73 million boys under 18 have been subjected to forced sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual violence. Can you even begin to understand how high those numbers are? Thats a total of 223 million, to put this in perspective, UK has a population of 63 million and the US around 300 million. And this is only counting child sexual abuse!! Hey, maybe that's a fabrication by "western people" to "spoil our image"? Oh it was conducted by the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) in India? Never mind: out of sight, out of mind, right?
关于极低的报案率，只有5.8%受害者报案，如果是被丈夫强奸，报案率只有0.6%： The fact is "MORE than 99.4% of the rapes do go unreported in India".
“So, you got raped by your uncle? I’ll just ask him to pay for the abortion if you get pregnant and you can go back to work tomorrow. We haven’t eaten rice in three days.”
That was a response Promila got from her mother when she walked up to her one morning and told her she was raped and impregnated. “We don’t complain against our uncles. They’re family and it’s against the rules,” said Promila when I asked her why she wasn’t seeking legal help.
She left me thinking. In a country as culturally and ethnically rich as India, we’re asked to abide by cultural norms or “rules” as we call them. Does that mean an uncle isn’t a rapist? Does that excuse you from the truth that you’ve been raped? Absolutely not.
Promila resumed her work the next morning. She washed clothes and she ran daily chores at my neighbor’s house. I watched her turn into a recluse who never spoke to anyone.
I called the police station one morning.
“We have no records for anyone under that name, Ma’am,” the officer told me over the phone. “No one exists by the name of Promila Das.”
How can you say you’ve been raped when you don’t even exist?
Oh look at Sweden, USA and Finland! They look much worse than India, they say! It's because the "definition" of rape varies widely from country to country. In Sweden, what matters is only that a women said "no", she might have given him a strip tease, a BJ and rubbed her naked groin against you, but if she says no and you proceed to do the deed - rape conviction. This is very similar to the crime rate in Kerala, which is one of the highest but which is also one of the safest and most literate places in India. This is mostly due to efficient policing resulting in greater number of people trusting the police enough to report any crimes. In some places in the UP, you might be raped in the police station itself: UP: 2 cops rape minor at police station, suspended Indian woman 'gang-raped' at police station
Meanwhile in India, marital rape is not even considered as a crime! This places India in the company of a handful of reputable countries including China, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Do you think even if we change the law- any Indian women would dare to complain if her husband rapes her everyday?
In fact the issue of "marital rape" was brought in front of our esteemed law-makers, who rejected it in a report which argued:
it “has the potential of destroying the institution of marriage,” “If marital rape is brought under the law, the entire family system will be under great stress,” adds the report.
Rape will be a problem and will remain a problem as long as we try to cover it up. Are girls any safer on our streets now? Does your sister, mother or daughter feel comfortable going out at night wearing whatever she likes? Have you been abroad? Have you ever felt how different you feel when walk with/as a girl outside India? We are nowhere close to that standard when it comes to safety for women.
If food is rotten in your house, will you just cover it up, spray some perfume and proclaim everything is good? Of course not. Let's acknowledge the problem and throw it out instead of blaming the "Western Media" of "fabricating a rape-crisis"!
PS: I agree that the problem of "shaming and projecting a bad image" is also quite real, but it is much smaller compared to the REAL issue at hand. It's like my child is very sick and needs me, and I am outside fighting the kids who are teasing him about his sickness.
PPS: Is someone here actually claiming that pornography causes rape?! Yeah lets repress our sexuality even more- that's going to work right?
********************************************************************** Whew! This answer is already way too long and so I end it here. Whats below is only a few of my selected responses to particularly vehement comments against it.
Excerpt from the comments:
< "It is because we refuse to believe there is a problem"?
What were the protests in Delhi about with tens of thousands of men and women? What was the lynching in Nagaland about? Do you see major protests in the US that reports ~100,000 rapes a year or in the UK?
While it is true that majority of rapes go unreported in India and say we go with your out of the hat number of 90%, do you realize that we still fare better than the rape capitals of the world? So you will have to suitably change this number to show we are worse off. But another number you cannot change is the percentage of convictions - that is a matter of public record.>>
I'm not taking the opposition to this documentary as support or the rapists.
The problem is that some Indians think that the state of women in the US or the UK is the same as that of India. They probably watched that stupid video of a woman getting catcalled in Harlem or were convinced by "out-of-context" statistics. This idea though is just laughable. If people in any developed nation made statements like the lawyers or MLA's did, they would be handing their resignation letter the very next day. If any person, let alone a lawyer said that he would burn your daughter for pre-marital sex- he would be jailed in any other developed country.
But since those videos seem to be so convincing for many, let me play the same game:
Note: This video is just for illustrative purposes only, imagine that creepy staring happening to you every day of your life (I understand that people calling her into shops are just doing so because she looks like she has money and might give them business, but still there are a lot of instances of the infamous "creepy stare"). This woman walks without pants in NYC and people barely notice.
I feel bad for playing down at this level (using edited videos instead of strong statistics and reasoning) but it seems to get the point across for a lot of folks.
Anyone who is well traveled would find this obvious. Just because a few thousand people protested right after the day of the rape doesn't mean the mind set of the country has changed. The lynching in Nagaland believe it or not is part of the problem not the solution.
I can't speak for the US but I have lived in the UK and we have made a very bad name for ourselves there. Many sex-deprived Indian and South Asian men don't know how to behave civilly or decently around women and often give of a creepy or rapey vibe. These are all first hand experiences and I was disgusted to see us being represented this way:
Indian men in clubs often stand in groups in a corner without dancing and with drinks in hand, creepily leer at girls dancing on the floor.
They creepily leer and try to take not-so-discreet photographs of Caucasian women sunbathing on beaches.
They grope women in extremely crowded places such as the Metro, Club or a concert.
They randomly propose to have sex with Caucasian girls they barely know just because she happened to smile at him.
Most people there would not have a clue about Indians or Indian men (esp. before the recent rape cases) but a few pig-headed men tarnish all of our images.
Go ahead and read the comments on the article. Immigrants make up only around 10% of the population but make up 20% of murder and sex offenders.In places like London almost a third of all rapes are performed by immigrants. Note that this doesn't include naturalized citizens or British nationals of foreign origin. One in five murder and rape suspects are foreign nationals, figures show
If ever there was a protest in the UK about rapes, In the current political climate, it would be a mass deportation of all new immigrants. If the same thing happened in India, wherein say hypothetically immigrants from Nigeria or Bangladesh were responsible for a disproportionate amount of rapes, it would probably be a mass lynching. My point being, please don't make unnecessary comparisons with the UK or the US, it only hurts our cause.
The statistics say that the number of unreported cases are 99.6% and the truth might be even higher. 75% of rapes takes place in rural areas and rural women do not report rapes due to shame, "honor" and the value of virginity placed in marriage. India�s Rape Culture: Urban versus Rural
50% of children are sexually abused and around 25% of women are raped within the marriage. Can you even imagine what would happen to our rape statistics if the definition of "rape" was changed to match Western standards? You would be start seeing statistics in 8 digits (ie. more than the population of many of the countries mentioned).
In conclusion, let us not dispute statistics or try to give ourselves a pat on the back by playing with statistics or by making meaningless comparisons. Whether we like it or not we have a major problem and the only fix is to change our attitude and mind-set.
Rape culture is sick. And in the end, I’m a strong believer in the phrase “sunlight is the best disinfectant.” Anyone who shines a light on illness in my society is doing me a favor, our history with colonialism be damned. I don’t care who starts that conversation as long as I add my voice to it. And I’m not so insecure about “the white woman” to believe that her voice outweighs mine.
I honestly have nothing else to say about this topic other than what I have below and am going to stop replying to further comments.
Excerpt from the comments:
Guys like you were the real reason India was colonised by the British. If women are unsafe in our country, we make it safe. Not draw the whole world's gaze on us and ridicule ourselves. Have you thought about the impact this documentary will have on tourisim, education (already started), buissiness in addition to projecting India as a disgusting country? What do you make out of Africa from hollywood movies? Same logic goes here.
This is what they exactly want.
Next time you raise your voice supporting the documentary thinking that they did some great service, remember that you are a fool playing into the hands of some Europeans doning the mask of a saviour who have a clear racial agenda in mind.
We had a bad rep much before the documentary and the rape cases. Perhaps some people (I shall refer to them as the Orthodoxy from here on) haven't been out of the country a lot so you are hearing about it only now through local and social media.
Don't quote me the racist professor from Germany, it is a well known fact that Foreign professors are more likely to reject Indian or Chinese male students unless they are truly extraordinary or bring in cash by funding themselves (though they won't be so silly as to state that explicitly). However this is mainly due to concerns with cheating,plagiarism and the poor quality of under-graduate education in India rather than the rape mentality.
Karan, is a recent international graduate of U of T’s and admits he was let off with a warning over plagiarism after copying text from lecture slides word-for-word in a paper. In India, he had relied on reproducing the words of his teachers and rote learning , and was taken aback by the emphasis placed on critical analysis and proper citation of sources in Canada.
What do you mean projecting India as a disgusting country? No film maker or news channel has the responsibility to white-wash India for you, that is the job of the community. I have been to many places around the world and the fact is that India is quite filthy, with poorly maintained services and poorer civic sense and I do my part to help instead of being all whiny and butt-hurt through social organizations such as the NSS or Ugly-Indian type spot fixes. Most folks sadly just tend to watch or take photos when we clean rubbish or do spot-fixes; such folks perhaps later go on the Internet and ask why India is projected as a dirty place.
It was interesting to also see the reactions of passers by. While one guy commented, “People these days do anything to be on TV,” another kinder-hearted person, said “You guys are doing a great job!” Other people wanted to know just what on earth is going on.
Let me narrate yet another small incident: When I first went to the UK about 3 years back, and introduced myself from India a colleague of mine asked me whereabouts from. He informed me that his wife had visited before and so he knew a bit about the country. I was all smiles and asked him if she enjoyed the trip and the culture but you know what he said?
"Yes, mostly, but I was too freaked out as she kept telling me that the men were too creepy, they kept staring and some tried to follow her".
I replied it must be so because she must have visited poorer illiterate states such as U.P, Bihar etc but she would have had a much better time in metro cities such Chennai or B'lore. He then dropped the bombshell, all that had happened in Tamil Nadu (Chennai)! I thought such incidents rarely if ever happened there and so was blinded to this reality myself! Chennai: Men stare, stalk undercover reporter in jeans in broad daylight
Yet despite everything, India still managed to charm his wife and she was planning to visit there again on their summer vacation (but this time with him). What is amazing is that India shouldn't need your whitewashing to pull in tourists- that is no different from pulling a con, very rarely do the people who actually visit India leave without making plans to return in the future (though they would be better prepared next time).
We make our country safe for women by addressing the problem (I feel like a parrot now!), one must be very naive to think that banning the documentary would serve any purpose other than increasing its fame and notoriety. I wanted to watch the documentary because I wanted to understand the mindset of the rapists (I wished the trial was recorded and made public after the sentencing) and what the parents had to say but apparently no Indian news channel had the balls to do it before the BBC so I salute them for that. I didn't really care about the social commentary given by the Oxford prof. but I was shocked by the filth spouted by the lawyers (I initially thought that they took the case only because someone had to, to try them in a court of law).
I am an ardent believer of freedom of expression and freedom of information, I don't think being butt-hurt about the truth would do anything but invite more ridicule and shame.
Learn to loose the Us Vs Them mentality.
"The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
Like it or not, many of our social reforms came about through collaboration with liberal Indians and good-willed "angrezis". Lets see what some of these "racists" had to say and how the Orthodox community reacted:
Henry Vivian Derozio (India's first nationlisitic poet ard. 1818, founder of the Young Bengal Movement and catalyst for the Bengal Renaissance), He was an atheist who criticized Hindu practices, the British rule and encouraged women emancipation.
"My Country! In the days of Glory Past
A beauteous halo circled round thy brow
And worshiped as deity thou wast,
Where is that Glory, where is that reverence now?
Thy eagle pinion is chained down at last,
And groveling in the lowly dust art thou,
Thy minstrel hath no wreath to weave for thee,
save the sad story of thy misery."
Some Orthodox people then expelled him for "having materially injured student's Morals and destroying their character and peace in society".
This cycle has been going around for over 200 years in India. Orthodoxy is orthodoxy, they will find every way to stall progress and the most effective tactic seems they fall on seems to be to divert attention away from the issue, shift goal posts and focus on ad-hominems, but fortunately for us as a species, such elements can rarely stem the tide of progress.