Why I’m Not Protesting The #IndiasDaughter Ban

I woke up to find Twitter screaming about a new ban. This has been a week of outraging about bans, the last one being the ban on the production & possession of calf, cow and bullock meat, better know as #BeefBan. Today’s outrage was over the Indian government banning the BBC India documentary about the 2012 Nirbhaya rape. Much had been getting made over the fact that it included an interview with Mukesh Singh, one of the rapists.

My first instinct might have been to cry ‘Down with the ban!’ given we’re rapidly becoming a country that bans things for reasons that seem unjust, biased and regressive. But something held me back, possibly a couple of conversations I had earlier this week. So this is what I posted to Facebook this morning. I’ve spent the day defending this stance, trawling through the sewage of male bullying online (#NAMALT, regionalist abuse, patriarchal statements etc). I’ve had heated conversations with people, mostly outside this country whose stance sounds convenient and armchair philosopher style apathetic. I’ve debated with friends and peers within this country who hold other viewpoints. And I’m so worn down by this.

Three hours after I stopped watching the Twitter streams, I still can’t stop the ringing in my ears that says WE FAILED HER. WE FAIL WOMEN. THIS COULD HAVE BEEN ME. THIS COULD BE ME. I’m going to say no more. Here goes –

I don’t think the ‘India’s Daughter’ film should be available for viewing. True, this is censorship and as a writer, I should oppose that.

But this is a country where politicians say women should not be given mobile phones, where godmen decree that eating chowmein leads to rape, where girls who were raped & hung, are accused of enticing the perpetrators. We prove time and again, that we are a culture that hates women with a passion that surpasses all logic and justice.

We are also the same country where hundreds of young men drew lit matchsticks across their tongues, in blind imitation of a fictitious character in a Bollywood movie.

Rape culture & misogyny are deeply embedded in our psyche. I think this documentary will be seen for what it is, by a few who already think that way, so it’s just preaching to the converted. For the rest, I think it will only humanize a monster and glorify his actions. I fear to think of what a world of me-toos will look like.

Can’t you just see the average boy on the road thinking, “Usne to saaf bola, girls deserve this for going out after 9”? I can.

Edit: I found the actual documentary as well as number of excerpts & analysis about it on Youtube. Take a look down the comments there to see how India responds. It’s sickening.

Edit 2: Watched the whole documentary. Utterly sickened. First by reliving the incident and then realising that the entire video is just one long ‪#‎PovertyPorn‬ saga. It doesn’t present any new facts, needlessly highlights tear-jerker sequences around the rapists and offers no real value except repeating the dysfunctional mindset of this country. Watch it if you enjoy real life tragedies being exploited for a privileged audience’s entertainment.

You’ll find plenty of material about why the ban should be lifted. Here’s just one more voice that matches what I had to say and this time, it comes from a man: A Short Rant On The Longest Known Evil.

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About IdeaSmith

IdeaSmith is the digital doppelganger of Ramya Pandyan (intrepid train-traveller and frequent spouter of post-midnight rhymes and rants). As IdeaSmith she battles obscurity and slays boredom with her stories about men, books, digitalia and Mumbai. She performs live and also blogs, tweets, Instagrams, Facebooks, +G’s, Youtubes and Goodreads all as IdeaSmith. Ramya is a blogger, digital storyteller and spoken word performer. She also runs a forum for aspiring writers called Alphabet Sambar. Tweet-bomb her at @ideasmithy.

Posted on March 5, 2015, in Being Woman, Digital Dil, Harassment & abuse, I'm An Indian Woman, Media Messages and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I hate to be a disagree views on your blog . seeing the reaction to dissenting views on your fb page and twitter.

    The only way to stop a terrorist is to think like a terrorist. The same goes for any criminal perpetrator. Till this documentary ,we never knew how the perpetrators of the crime thought. There have been millions of similar crimes ,but sadly law enforcement does not keep a database of interviews or works on the information to stop future crimes.

    “For the rest, I think it will only humanize a monster and glorify his actions. I fear to think of what a world of me-toos will look like.”
    There are a lot of main stream movies which are idolized and people translate the actions into real life. But the person needs to be a character worth emulating .

    “Take a look down the comments there to see how India responds.”
    With rise of low cost mobile phones . The rise of perpetrators and sympathizers commenting online will rise. Those opposing usually do not waste their time commenting on youtube videos. The quality posts just get drowned in noise.

    “It doesn’t present any new facts”
    It does. For the first time in three years we know how one of the perpetrators thing. Sadly we do not know how the other thing and how the worst of them the juvenile thought (someone bumped him off )
    what new facts ? people may ask
    1) We now know perpetrators think intelligently and can modify their actions actions according to the changes in law. We earlier thought of them as mindless monsters who just follow their beastly instinct. [the perpetrator says what future rapists would do ,indicating he has been keeping himself abreast with the latest law changes. ]

    Rape is being made normal by the male:female ratio and this is supported by woman in villages.
    google “One rescue and the multiple existential crises of policemen in Palwal”. This will tell you why delhi will always be unsafe ,till these villages are helped

    Rape can be a perfectly modern weapon that is intimately connected to other systems of privilege, exploitation and inequality, including, in the Indian context, caste oppression, religious chauvinism, resource appropriation [the guardian]

  2. You have put words to my thoughts. Well written.

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