What Else Then In Nirbhaya Film Except Mukesh Singh?
By Deba Ranjan
10 March, 2015
After watching Nirbhaya film of BBC I was surprised with the intention of Leslee Udwin, its director. She, as a woman, how is forgetting to ask both the defence lawyers that what they, both Manohar Lal Sharma and A.P. Singh, are telling on women, are from their own ''belief'' or part of the Indian laws. Finally, BCI (Bar Council of India) has taken it as ‘derogatory’ and has noticed both of them. Both these lawyers should be suspended from the professional community.
Probably the Director knowingly left it to expose male psyche of India and laws of India in Índia’s Daughter’. BBC will not send an amateur film maker for this. Probably BBC has this intention also otherwise would not have gone for screening of the same without listening comments on the film from the people.
It is good that the BCI has taken it seriously. But it is leaving Judiciary as unquestionable. In many cases judges in lower courts pronounce judgment based on their belief and faith, mostly in case of women, dalits and adivasis rather the laws and different articles of the constitution. The judgment of lower courts on Bhanwari Devi, on Kharlanji and on Tsundur of AP etc. are few examples of it.
Now both corporate giants like on one hand Corpotate media BBC and Union government are at face to face each other regarding screening. I don’t support the ban but I don’t support such a mega media agency should make such a film on any society. If tomorrow the Director would make such a film on communal riot and would feel that she has exposed the SanghaParivar then that would be fatal.
I , as a documentary film maker, have always tried to analyse the problem rather than working for exposing anybody. When I made the film on anti-Christian Communal violence in Kandhamal in Odisha though I had long interview of VHP local person and ofcourse of few perpetrators and all of them were just speaking hatred towards the minorities. But I did not use those interviews. That would give logic to the perpetrator what I felt. The film was well accepted though it missed certain things also.
This film, ‘India’s Daughter’, except for Mukesh Singh has nothing. Only Nirbhaya’s mother is sole person who is countering the criminal and the lawyers. The criminals are in jail and the lawyer, specifically Mohan Sharma, is sitting in chair, very calmly, with the uniform, inside his own chamber, is spreading nothing but ‘hatred’ towards Nirbhaya! As a human being I can’t accept this.
I am surprised with the incapability of the Director to read the sentiment of the huge gathering of the youths during that time at India Gate though she has used those shots as a breath inside series of interviews. This is unfortunate. Always the police has neglected in arresting such culprit. Such gathered youths were shouting “we want justice”. But police action on such protestors was brutal.
Even Justice JS Verma Committee during that time had expressed displeasure over police action against students and protesters after the gang rape incident and said that it has “scarred Indian democracy”. But the film has not shown its displeasure. It has given space to the police, its promptness in arresting the culprit. But we can not forget in Jessica murder case. Initially all the accused were acquitted. The trial court said, "Police failed to sustain the grounds on which they had built up their case." Later that case was reopened and Manu Sharma got life imprisonment from Supreme Court
The film has nowhere questioned the men in uniform and attitude of the government in dealing such cases. Rather for smooth passage of the film has highlighted both Sheela Dixit, the then Chief Minister of Delhi and Sonia Gandhi.
The JS Verma Committee report says, ‘it is shocking to note that even after the recent horrific incident of gang rape, many political leaders, including members of Parliament/State legislatures, spiritual gurus with large followings and other eminent persons have been making statements reinforcing the gender bias. Some have even blamed the victim for having facilitated the rape by her own behaviour.’ The report has suggested both for police reform and political reform.
After watching the film, I fear the present government would hang all four of them including MukeshSingh. Because, at present, most of the politicians in ruling circle, both in BJP and SP, subscribe same views. But they will not want to be equated with Mukesh Singh.
If it happens then voice against death penalty will be unheard because of the ‘public sentiment’. So, this film if it happens then will be greatest, rather negative, contribution of the film. Though we succeeded in converting Nithar accused into life imprisonment but here I feel it would be tough task to do.
So, I can’t be with BBC.
Deba Ranjan is a human rights activist and documentary film maker . Email: email@example.com
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