The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Avinash Mohapatra, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur.
The West has always enjoyed showing the social evils in Indian(read as Hindu) Culture. The practice dates back to the colonial times. Macaulay, the 1st law member of the Governor General’s council proposed in the British Parliament, 1835 with reference to Bharat “I do not think we could ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this Nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good, and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native self-culture, and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation”. The cynosure of the the agenda was to cause cultural alienation of the Indians from their civilization, inducing in them a spirit of self-reproach towards everything Hindu. Achieving this feat would then cause subjugation of Indian masses to take refuge under the imperialist light bringers.
‘Mother India’ was written by Mayo in 1927, amidst India’s demand for freedom with the covert support it is said, of the British and their Brown Sahibs. The intention of the book was to tell the world, that regressive India was not capable of self governing. It was followed by widespread protests and many books were published by Indians to counter it. Gandhi too had condemned the book calling it a “drain inspectors report”. Today with “India’s Daughter” it seems the West still suffers from a colonial hangover. Back then they cultivated a few Brown Nuts and with their help made it out to be a “White Man’s Burden” to save the “natives”. And now it’s the “White Woman’s Burden” to save “poor native girls from India’s rape culture”. Basically keep perpetuating a sense of shame for everything Hindu. And keep “saving souls”. What better way to do this than through Imperial agents in the media?
According to the online essay http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/027753959090027U, A review of feminist periodical literature reveals that British feminists constructed the image of a helpless Indian womanhood on whom their own emancipation in the imperial nation state ultimately relied. Thus, in both practice and theory, the Indian woman served as a foil against which British feminists could gauge their own progress. In their quest for liberation and empowerment, Victorian and Edwardian feminists collaborated in the ideological work of empire, reproducing the moral discourse of imperialism and embedding feminist ideology within it.
The claim made by BBC and Udwin that “India is a culture of rape”, “sick society” is an erroneous tag devoid of facts. India does have a rape problem and so does any other country. However, the exclusive focus on ‘rapes in India’ by global media reporting each rape crime as “another rape in India” does not go in good vein and raises alarm of a vicious agenda rooted in colonial times. The racist attitude of showing Indian society in inferior light by bringing ‘culture,creed and religion’ into their grand narrative of the gory tale of that fateful night, was definitely not a project with noble intentions. India’s daughter announces that every 20 min. a woman is raped in India and that the Indian society is inherently patriarchal and misogynistic. While rape or misogyny in any form is worth abhorring, BBC’s biased animosity towards Indian society and cultural ethos alone, speaks high of their racism. In US, a woman is raped every 2 minutes. But the BBC never makes a documentary in which it castigates western societies for being patriarchal and misogynistic.
The ban incurred by Indian Govt. invited the ire of white activists and their brown sepoys, calling it a suppression of ‘free speech’. What the liberals fail to identify is that the filming of the documentary is a classic example of ‘asymmetry of power’. For instance, how often can an Indian film-maker ever interview the rapists in US, UK prisons, followed by a documentary reprimanding their ‘sick society’. On the contrary, neo-liberals at home, sanctify such acts of intrusion by the west into Indian issues, under the veil of free speech. The British film-maker when interviewed on the ban of her documentary said “It’s an attempt to block and derail the film. Its very sad but hardly surprising, in any way. And it doesn’t really worry me, because this is a sick society“. It takes a lot of audacity to blanket accuse 600 million Indian men as potential rapists. That too after misleading the Home Ministry & Jail authorities, and violating every stipulation and judicial process. As per rules, Indian govt does not allow a foreign filmmaker entry inside an Indian prison. A New Indian Express article http://www.newindianexpress.com/thesundaystandard/Leslee%E2%80%99s-Liasons-the-Inside-Story/2015/03/08/article2702757.ece says “So Leslee Udwin tied up with a now missing film producer named Anjali Bhushan. A new film company named Tathagath was born, under whose banner Udwin produced the documentary and has now left no traces of its existence. The funder of India’s Daughter, Tribeca Film Institute which is financed by the Ford Foundation, a body under the scanner of Indian agencies for funding PRS Lamp Scheme in India.”
Leslee Udwin got a nod to shoot inside Tihar, she interviewed a dozen prisoners but never made her intentions clear that she was merely interested in showcasing Nirbhaya’s rapist. The rapist asked for 2 lakhs. She negotiated and bribed/paid him 40k, as per NavBharat Times. Then she hijacked the judicial process to air the film. Finally when she smelt legal danger, she went crying foul to every major TV channel over the ban on her film and eventually ran away from India, a La Anderson style.
The side effects of such malicious campaign by Indian media supported foreign channels to paint an ugly picture of India. A German professor denied internship to an Indian student citing the reason that “India has a rape problem and I have female students in my group”. A news article from Kuwait times ran a headline “Rapist’s views reflect those of many in India. Indian men blame women for rape“. Udwin succeeded in tarnishing India’s image and about Indians abroad, in connivance with some leftist journos in National electronic media.
Following the ban, Richard Dawkins, the distinguished biologist and atheist tweeted “Salute those thousands of brave Indians determined to fight the traditional culture of misogyny“. Such a statement is an anti-thesis to rational thinking, with no facts to back their preposterous claims. While openly flogging Indian cultural values as being traditionally misogynistic to back their racist claims, these white men miss the sacred feminine that has always been the signature of Indian culture. For time immemorial, since the times of Sita, the heroine of Ramayana, the medieval times of Rani Rudramama and Rani Chennamma, to modern times of Smt. Indira Gandhi, women in Indian society have always been held as the epitome of Shakti (strength). The fact that goddesses such as Durga wielded weapons to slay the demons, does not hold an iota of significance to the western think tank before chastising the Indian societal values.
While we on this side of the border miss the rhetorical underpin of the western propaganda, the chain of events that ensued therewith are reflective of the ends justifying the means. This is a Civilisational War against a Culture which Abrahmics want to dominate though such vitriolic campaigns. Rape is definitely a problem of our country today, but it doesn’t require the prodding of an outsider, a benevolent racist to tell us that we have a problem. We, as a Nation are working to solve our problem and have made considerable headway just in the last 3 yrs. itself. While 1/3rd of British blame the victim of rapes, a majority of Indians sympathized with Nirbhaya. We never went out to meddle in the issues of UK when in reality its they who need the help if global stats are to be believed (UK ranks 5th in World rape index; 250 women are raped daily in UK). But, we are busy solving our problems and have no intent in intruding into other people’s affairs or culturally labeling them. However, their surreptitious, illegal push load of racist lies, shall only open up a Pandora’s box of the west’s illicit intent to debilitate our cultural realm in keeping with Macaulayism. As Delhi based businessman Harvinder Singh put it “When Leslee Udwin titled her film, ‘India’s Daughter’, it made us all look like culprits. As a businessman, I have traveled the world, and was aware of the rape problem in the UK. So I made this video,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=twUmDDMX9tU Harvinder Singh further said “My point was to say that a rape is a rape. It doesn’t matter if it is ‘India’s daughter’ or ‘UK’s daughter’,”