Dehli rape film: Defence counsels say woman is like a flower, should stay indoors at night

Comments appeared in a BBC documentary about a fatal attack on a student in 2012


Web Desk March 07, 2015
Comments appeared in a BBC documentary about a fatal attack on a student in 2012. PHOTOS COURTESY: BUZZ FEED

In a BBC documentary about the fatal gang  rape of a student, defence counsels for the accused rapists said a woman is like a flower and should stay indoors at night for she needs to be protected, BuzzFeed reported.

Based on a young girl who was brutally attacked on a bus after an evening trip to the cinema in Delhi in December 2012, the documentary has stirred a huge debate in India.

Defence counsel, M L Sharma, added that in Indian society we never allow our girls to leave their houses after 6:30 or 7:30 or 8:30 in the evening with an unknown person. This is a reference to the fact that the rape victim was returning home from a cinema trip with a male friend at around 8:30pm on the night of the attack.

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Defence lawyer M.L. Sharma. PHOTO COURTESY: BUZZ FEED


India earlier this week banned the documentary, which was due to be aired on March 8, after preview clips showing unapologetic comments from Mukesh Singh, one of the five people convicted of the attack,went viral.

Read: India bans broadcast of gang-rapist documentary

The show aired in the UK and online on March 4. It sparked fresh outrage in India, because two of the lawyers who defended the rapists at trial have similar views to Mukesh Singh on how women should behave.

India earlier this week banned the documentary, which was due to be aired on March 8, after preview clips showing unapologetic comments from Mukesh Singh, one of the five people convicted of the attack, went viral.

Mukesh Singh’s interview for the documentary. PHOTO COURTESY: BBC


One of the other defence lawyers, A P Singh, also said that women should only go out at night when “necessary” and only with relatives. He also says he stands by a 2013 interview in which he supported honour killings.

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Defence Lawyer A.P. Singh. PHOTO COURTESY: BUZZ FEED


Many Indians condemned the lawyers attitudes towards women on twitter.  Opinion in India, however, remains divided over whether the government's move to ban the documentary because it airs misogynistic views, is correct, or whether it is vital to hear such views in order to address and change them.

People in India were able to work around the domestic ban and watch the documentary on YouTube early on March 5, but it was taken down later in the day. Some supporters of the ban point out that violence against women is a global issue, whereas the documentary focuses wholly on India.

Read: India asks Youtube to block banned rape film

India’s government and police obtained a court block against the film partly because of the convicted rapist’s comments, and partly because they questioned whether the British filmmaker Leslee Udwin had permission to enter the jail to interview him. Udwin has responded by publishing permission letters from the Indian government. The BBC has said that, while it will obey the Indian ban, it believes the film “has a strong public interest.”

Read: Indian govt threatens BBC over broadcast of Dehli rape film

Four adult men were found guilty of the student’s rape and murder and sentenced to death in 2013. A teenager was also found guilty and sentenced to three years in a juvenile detention center. The four men are all appealing their sentences — Mukesh Singh says he was driving the bus during the attack but did not take part in the rape.

COMMENTS (3)

HashK03 | 6 years ago | Reply I really feel sorry for the victim and her family. I saw the whole documentary when it was aired on BBC FOUR. I was amazed to see the brilliant thinking skills of many Indians, from uneducated to well educated. I think India's Bollywood has some role in shaping the views of their public. I watched last Bollywood movie about 18 years ago, most movies at that time did display rape scenes involving either gangsters, politicians, police, lawyers, judges or powerful businessmen. This documentary confirms it, when the lawyer (representing the criminals) presents his views. Apart from that, at 49 min :30 sec the head of NGO Amod Kanth displays similar Bollywood style attitude when he speaks about tolerance of India or Indian society and compares it to other countries. He is trying to portray an image of India which is not true. India is a country with 250 of it's members of parliament accused of rape and are waiting for their cases to be heard in court. This country still has death penalty as punishment. Documentary was aired on BBC FOUR on 5th of March, on 6th of March a rapist was publicly lynched in India and this comment is written on 7th of March. I am wondering why did Mr Amod Kanth portray that image of India which simply is not true.
Mahraj | 6 years ago | Reply Sick minded people, Why dont they understand women is also human and has equal rights and feelings, what we men wishes they also have similar wishes, If women is with boy friend this doesnot mean that she is a soceity girl and wants to be with everyone. We both india Pakistani guys need to update ourself with contemparary needs and has to change our mentality....,,And understand that both villian and hero has the same objectve and intent but for one she is reluctant and for other with consent.
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