In 2012, a 23 year old female student in Delhi along with a male companion were victims of a vicious assault. The young woman had been brutally gang raped on a public bus for several hours before being left to fight for her life in a hospital. In the end her injuries were so bad that she died from them. Wishing to shed light on the crime, director Leslee Udwin interviewed one of the rapists in prison and made a documentary about it. The documentary titled "India's Daughter" has been banned from release in India.
Every country has problems with different forms of censorship, but one must wonder with India being the world's largest democracy, why is free speech being stifled? The home minister Rajnath Singh conveyed a feeling of shame brought to his country by the words of the rapist, Mukesh Singh. He and many others believe that the film glorifies the criminal and gives him a platform to share his sick and perverted views on women's place in Indian society. As noble of a gesture as this might be, banning the film undermines a much larger problem in Indian culture; despite being such an advanced nation, India is another in a long list of countries that suffers from misogynistic societal norms.
These norms include but are not limited to the popular South Asian practice of "Eve Teasing". Eve Teasing is in its simplest form, sanctioned sexual harassment. Women in South Asian
countries experience constant verbal abuse, groping, pinching, pushing, and poking from men who are just having "fun" in one of the most juvenile ways they can. There's a slew of laws and practices that value men over women in this culture, and perhaps that is the reason why showing this movie has been banned; it might not be that the country will be ashamed that five Indian men committed such an atrocity, but rather that the views expressed by these rapists coincide with views expressed by many people who have been raised in the same culture. The director (right) of the documentary has said that her work can be used as a "powerful tool for change".
The documentary has been unofficially screened in the slum homes of the rapists, and will hopefully be shown to more upper class Indian residents to enlighten them not only to the mindset of the men who committed the crime, but also to the underlying problem that as long as societies throughout the world, not just in India, continue to devalue women, these atrocities will continue to happen.