Last night BBC4 screened ‘India’s Daughter’….. It is very powerful, well made and, in my view, a very important documentary. It deals with the Delhi bus gang rape of December 2012. Jyoti’s parents are remarkable. In these outrageous circumstances they appear astonishly calm, evidently caring, thoughtful, and model parents of modest means. They and the boy tutor command great respect. The programme was due to be shown next Sunday which is International Women’s Day but was brought forward presumably because the film is causing a huge row in India. It has been banned there. It can be seen in the UK on BBC iPlayer but only for 6 more days. Readers of this column may wish to see the review published in The Guardian today.
This astonishing ‘must-watch’ documentary is still being shown on BBC’s own channel iPlayer under the series title ‘Storyville’ but will not be available after 11pm on Sunday 14 March. I also found that it is still available on a YouTube site in spite of the BBC’s assertion that it has launched a global ban via Google. There are legal ramifications about the making and showing of this film. I saw a letter on the internet from the BBC’s Director of Television to the Joint Secretary of the Government of India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting saying in effect that it was satisfied that film had been made using proper editorial standards and channels. This was sent prior to the screening last Wednesday. India’s bar council is meeting to consider action against the two Defence Lawyers who made misogynistic statements as reported in the Guardian today [07 March].
For what it is worth I think the Indian Government has made a big mistake by banning it as this only fuels publicity, which is precisely what the makers and the BBC want in order to shed light on India’s rape crisis.