India

Indians react to Delhi bus rape documentary

Composite of Delhi Police hand out photos of Vinay Sharma , Pawan Gupta, Mukesh Singh, Akshay Thakur convicted for the notorious December 2012 gang rape and murder of a female student on a bus in the Indian capital, Delhi. Image copyright delhi police
Image caption Mukesh Singh (second from right) and his fellow rapists are appealing against their sentences

There has been a huge reaction in India to a British-made documentary about the 2012 gang rape and murder of a female student in Delhi.

The BBC documentary was broadcast in the UK on Wednesday night, but it was unavailable in India. However using the internet, people across the country were able the watch the programme.

More than 3,000 people from India got in touch on the BBC's WhatsApp service in just three minutes to share their thoughts. Here is a selection of their comments.


"It is not anti-India or anti-men"

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Media captionSharavi Kshirsagar says the ban is unconstitutional

Image copyright Kanishka Paul
Image caption Kanishka Paul says "I fully support both the making and broadcasting of the documentary. It is not a platform for the accused but brings to light the mindset that prevails in a particular section of the Indian society that believes that it is not the rapist but the victim that is to be blamed! It's not anti India and nor is it anti men, it voices against the barbaric and inhumane act".

Image caption Saumya Suruchi from Delhi says "The documentary shows the reality without any alterations. It's not Delhi or India centric but rather addresses the problem of rape and what leads to such a heinous crime".

"The BBC cannot play with the personal lives of others"

Image caption One Whatsapp user in India says the documentary doesn't represent the whole of India

Image copyright Abhay Kumar
Image caption Abhay Kumar "The BBC is free but it cannot play with the personal lives of others".

Image copyright Tarun
Image caption Dr Tarun "The documentary should also add some of the quotes from leaders like Mulayam Singh Yadav who said that boys are boys, they commit mistakes like rape but you can not hang them. The BBC did not include this and that's why I think educated people in India are angry with the documentary. They think the BBC is afraid of these leaders".

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Media captionPrabhjot Cheema made this video clip saying that the documentary was wrong to interview a rapist (there is no audio on this clip).

And others changed their minds after watching the documentary

Image caption This Whatsapp user gave their view on March 4, but then contacted the BBC website the following day

Other WhatsApp users in India contacted the BBC to share their views:

Ajinkya Lakhe "The documentary merely reinstates the indecent attitude some Indian men have towards women. Indian society needs to change its attitude so that there will be no such documentary filmed in future".

Tulika Saxena "The documentary puts the mentality of Indian men out in open. The point that politicians and rich men are also involved in such crimes but are not prosecuted was raised but not challenged well. I do not think the programme should be banned. These kind of bans are not a good trend for our country".

Krishna Agarwal "I strongly feel the documentary would be an eye opener for all sections of Indian society. It would help us to look into the minds of a criminal. We should see this as a chance to understand their psychology".

Christina Vaz "I am surprised that the authorities are going after the documentary rather than acting on the offensive words of a man who has committed such a heinous crime. I am surprised that a lawyer can say he is OK with killing his daughter if she brings shame on his family. They are men who will never value women as equal or otherwise. As a woman in India with a daughter this is truly terrifying and disturbing. Where is the democracy when free speech is shut down and perpetrators of hate are allowed to live and justify their crimes?"

Ravi Asrani "I am not in favour of the broadcast of the interview. The rapist's views of women do not represent the views of a vast majority of men across the world, not only in India. Granting such views a platform on a respected channel will have a negative impact by legitimizing such obnoxious thoughts and encouraging those who agree with them. Please do not allow this, it will hurt the cause of dignity and chivalry".

Ravi Kant "A documentary on such a harrowing and gruesome incident should not be banned. It is important for us to accept the skewed and depraved attitude which has impregnated our society. We shall only be able to cure it if we are willing to comprehend its cause".

Jaideep "The documentary presents the truth. Everyone must see it to understand the pain of the victims and their families and the societal environment that allows men to treat women as objects. Dispensation of timely justice is one step forward. Education, and empowerment are long term solutions".

Nisha Chainani "Freedom of speech in India is like raising a male child and a female child within the same family - with two separate sets of rules! Freedom of speech is the home under whose roof certain expressions are fully permissible but certain expressions need to be curbed".

Ashok Kumar Singh feels the documentary was irresponsible, "The BBC enjoys disturbing the social and political balance of other countries. That is why the BBC interviewed a gang rape convict and broadcast it before time despite a ban by the government of India".

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