Let’s never for­get In­dia’s daugh­ter

Friday - - Editor’s Letter -

His eyes are dead, like a shark’s, and his voice cold, but the words are ex­plo­sive, even though they’re de­liv­ered in a dead­pan way. “She shouldn’t fight back. She should just be si­lent and al­low the rape.” That way Jy­oti Singh – In­dia’s Brave­heart, the 23-year-old whose gang-rape and killing con­tin­ues to send shock waves around the world – would have sur­vived, ac­cord­ing to the bus driver. But she didn’t. Af­ter Mukesh Singh and his gang of five friends had fin­ished at­tack­ing her, they threw her, semi-con­scious, half­naked and bleed­ing out of the bus in Delhi. Why? Be­cause she was a fighter. She fought her de­praved rapists, just as she had al­ways fought in­equal­ity and the in­grained sex­ism in parts of her so­ci­ety – one that doc­u­men­tary maker Leslee Ud­win claims breeds rape.

Her hard-hit­ting doc­u­men­tary In­dia’s Daugh­ter has been banned in In­dia, and the coun­try’s par­lia­men­tary af­fairs min­is­ter, M Venkaiah Naidu, has said it was “an in­ter­na­tional con­spir­acy to de­fame In­dia”. Other politi­cians, celebri­ties and VIPs around the world have called for it to be shown – in­clud­ing Jy­oti’s par­ents Badri and Asha. “Ev­ery­one should watch the film,” her fa­ther says.

“If a man can speak like that in jail, imag­ine what he would say if he was walk­ing free. The doc­u­men­tary has only ex­posed what is hap­pen­ing in In­dia.”

Let’s not for­get that Jy­oti was their daugh­ter be­fore she was In­dia’s. And, as Mother’s Day ap­proaches, we have an ex­clu­sive fea­ture on the head­line-mak­ing doc­u­men­tary, the woman be­hind it and Jy­oti’s par­ents’ re­ac­tion on page 18 . Let me know what you think. Un­til next week,

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