Controversy Over India's Daughter Remains

Controversy Over India's Daughter Remains

Controversy Over India's Daughter Remains

It has been two weeks since India's Daughter, a documentary film by British filmmaker Leslee Udwin depicting the brutal 2012 bus rape of Jyoti Singh, has been released and the Indian government still has not lifted its ban on its public showing. Indian officials declared the ban after finding out that Mukesh Singh, one of the convicted rapists, made some disturbing comments regarding the rape, which they said would cause disruption and disorder.

The banning of the film, however, did not go ignored either. Protests erupted throughout India and a Change.org petition calling for the reverse of the ban has received more than 10,000 signatures so far. The film had also gone viral on YouTube before the BBC, which had initially aired the documentary in the UK, pulled it due to copyright violations.

Some critics have said the film portrays India in a bad light. However, Udwin herself said in an interview with the BBC, "I went out there not to point a finger at India […] the opposite, to put it on a pedestal, to say not in my life have I seen another country go out with that fortitude and courage the way the Indian nation did."

Others have said that the documentary somehow gives the rapists a "glorifying" platform by interviewing them. However, I think it does just the opposite of that. Though I have not seen the entire documentary, from reading reviews and watching excerpts, I think that, more than anything else, it brings to attention the horrifying mindset that rapists often have. The film also shows the strong solidarity of citizens all across India against Jyoti's harrowing murder-rape. Most importantly the film shows that as a global community, we have a long way to go to stop violence against women all over the world.

Abuse, rape, and other forms of violence against women are rampant all over the world, not just in India. In 2013, more than 35 percent of women (or one in three women) reported experiencing physical/sexual partner violence or non partner sexual violence. In the U.S. alone, in a national survey, almost one in five women have reported experiencing rape at some point in their lives.

India's Daughter does not just confront a nationwide issue; it depicts a worldwide crisis, one that transcends borders. Once again, it reminds us that it is time for government officials and citizens alike to work together in order to ensure the safety of not just the girls and women in our own communities but worldwide as well.


Noorhan is a high school sophomore. She is the founding president of her school's Girl Up chapter, and is a member of several other clubs as well. She is passionate about female empowerment/education and STEM/science research. When she's not busy with school, she enjoys writing, photography, outfit-planning, and traveling with her family.


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