India’s Daughter is every woman’s battle

  • Cinéma 
  • lundi 9 mars 2015 à 11:08 GMT


India’s daughter is a documentary directed by Leslee Udwin about women’s repression in India, this patriarchal society which is trying to emerge and break free from these so long chains and rotten mentality. Writing this article was hard, as hard as writing about Amina’s case more than two years ago was, as I feel strongly affected by this topic, like any woman, no matter where she comes from or what she does in life should.
This is not an ordinary rape case (but then again, nothing is ever ordinary or casual about rape). This is the case of a rooted evil that needs to be adressed once and for all. India is certainly not the only country suffering from rape, but this case can be considered as a wake up call – a late one, maybe, but still- for women all over the world to stand up for themselves and stop hiding behind shame and archaic considerations. The documentary is now banned in India, for the indian government believes it is an attempt of slander and vilification toward it. A government where the majority of its members are facing rape accusations without any (or barely any) legal proceedings being taken. This documentary needs to be viewed by everybody, as its aim is not to depict a dark and uncivilized picture of India rather than raise awareness and break the silence most of the victims choose to stick with.

The story
Jyoti Singh, a 23 years old medical student, was a victim of a gangrape which took place in a bus, and which resulted in her death in a hospital of her wounds. The girl went out with a friend of hers to the movies. She managed to convince her mother. « It’ll be the last time I’ll get the opportunity to go out before engaging in my 6 months internship » she said. It will turn out to be her last opportunity to go out, at all.
She asked he parents to pay for her education with the money they saved up for her wedding, she even worked night shifts to cover the rest of the med school fees. She always believed that « a girl can do anything », which can still come out as an abnormal mindset for lots of indians.
The documentary
Why make a documentary on such a horrific action? The girl is dead, and the criminals are put in jail, waiting for their death sentence to be applied, and the parents are trying -vainly- to get back to their old life. Why rehashing the past? Why rub salt in the wound? The documentary hardly shows anything new. The details of the case were already related by journalists across the world. What really comes off as shocking are the disturbing interviews featured in the documentary, giving the world a glimpse of how a woman is viewed by indian males.
The driver, interviewed by Udwin, shows no regrets or remorse whatsoever. His incarceration seems to startle him. For him, it was nothing but a simple night out with a bunch of drunk friends who happened to make a mistake. No need for all this fuss, shit happens. I can’t even describe how outrageous it is to see that some gross and obnoxious convictions can be stated in such gullibility. « A decent girl won’t roam around at 9pm […] we wanted to teach the girl a lesson ». Since when did rape and murder became a form of education?
We can all point fingers to the criminals and say that they’re sociopaths whenever they don’t show regrets. But what about their lawyers? I mean, Dershowitz meant it when he said that every lawyer’s dream is to help shape the law, not just react to it, right? But in this case, how about fully knowing it and enforcing it? How about respecting it? A lawyer who compares women to food, to diamonds, to flowers… A lawyer who objectifies women, who refuses to aknowledge the crucial part they play in the shaping of the society, a lawyer who clearly says « Our culture is the best », followed by the alarming « women have no place in our culture », how can anyone expected of this society to evolve if some of its highly placed, supposedly refined and educated members are a bunch of misogynists?

Thankfully, I can say for sure that India’s on the right path to win this battle, to stand tall and face this overpowering illness. The youth are finally breaking the oppressing silence they were under, refusing to tolerate any more misconducts toward its women. Mindsets are changing. People no longer pretend that all is well, that all is good. They now know that burryng their head in the sand is not a solution, that only facing this illness will allow them to overcome it. Women are often denied access to power, resources, information, and basic human rights. How sad and pitiful is this, knowing that they are the cornerstone of any democratic society?

India’s Daughter is an overwhelming documentary at the end of which you can’t decide on what to feel. Gloom and sadness over the crime itself and how monstrous it was? Pity for the family, who stood beside their daughter, watching her die, helpless? Angry and disgusted over the lawyers statement and the government’s ban decision that sends the wrong message to the world about how India’s willing to initiate and eventually win this battle? Or cheerful and optimistic about how these generations are not only denounce and condemn these criminals but are also trying to initiate the change, for a better future and a safer country for all?
Rape is a frightening phenomenon facing the whole world, generally (but not always) directed toward women of all kinds, of all ages, of all situations. Women, stop undervaluing yourselves. You can indeed make great wives, great sisters or great mothers, but this cannot define your true indentity. Women are humans after all, equally entitled to their freedom and independence as men. After all, « women hold up half the sky ».

You can watched here, it will give you goosebumps.