There are matters on which one cannot take sides, at least not clearly. Things are, at times, so hazy and complex that whatever side you take is wrong. The matter of Leslie Udwin’s documentary “India’s Daughter” on the infamous Nirbhaya rape case, is one such matter.
It is hard to understand the opposition of the documentary. Beyond a decibel level, every truth ceases to be truth. The noise on rival channels makes one doubt their outrage. The same channel sometime back got the same lawyer for the accused rapist on their debate. How come the same man making similar arguments in a debate is not outrageous while doing exactly the same thing on a documentary proposed to be run on a rival channel is insulting to the victim? The whole campaign smacks of hypocrisy. It is absurd to be up in arms about the documentary on the fact, and not be concerned about the fact itself.
Eloquent politicians who went silent when their own party chiefs made obnoxious statements like ‘Boys will be boys’ have suddenly got their eloquent tongues back from the cats. In parliament, they cry hoarse that this is insulting to the victim. It is not the public admission of thoughts which is a matter of concern; it is the thought itself which is of concern. What good it would be if the lawyer, the convicts, does not speak but the thoughts keep on creeping into creepy minds, looking for a dark alley, an empty bus to come out like evil creatures of the night? Why not introspect, not only about the ghastly crime, but also the response of the establishment to the spontaneous outrage which spread out on the street in response to the crime. What happens to the false murder case slapped on young men who went to protest? Who orchestrated that brutal action, which failed only because the movement could muster enough numbers to challenge the might of the state?
On the other hand, the making of the documentary itself was an act of absurdity. The claim of the maker of the documentary that her making of the documentary is justified because she herself is a rape victim is similar to the claim of erstwhile Home minister that he could be trusted with rightful action since he himself was father of daughter, and is as erroneous. Her rationale for making the documentary itself is skewed. What is there to understand about the mind of the criminal? It always leaves me uneasy. This whole club of untrained psychologist is an institution of idiocy. All men (I mean, Human beings by men) are not same. There are people who are evil. There is no reason, no logic of them being evil. Why would one want to understand them? They are evil whether rich or poor. It has nothing to do with their societal status or economic status. Evil rich is evil because he is rich and evil poor is evil because he is poor. This is just crap. Evil is evil because it wants to be, not because it has to be. Chesterton wrote famously, “..This is a real objection to that torrent of modern talk about treating crime as disease..of healing sin by slow scientific methods..The fallacy of the whole thing is that evil is a matter of active choice whereas disease is not.”
Furthermore, there is nothing specific about Indian men. It is a universal situation. We consider moral education outdated and legal system lingers on forever without reaching anywhere. Now that the documentary has been made, however stupid that endeavor is, blocking it is even more stupid. Leslie makes strange arguments like this is an attempt to understand the mind of an Indian man, as if Jack the Ripper had migrated from India, and so are all the ISIS fighters. On the attempt of government to block the documentary, a guaranteed to fail attempt, she says, “This society is sick” which I would hope was a statement out of desperation only. The resolution of such matters is not censorship; it is to look inside, inside the smallest unit of humanity- the family. The way to counter crime is not to restrict crime-reporting, it is to restrict crime. We are being stupid. Why are we not asking why the Nirbhaya fund is lying unused, and what is the point of adding another 2000 Crores to unused 1000 Crores? Why that fund cannot be used to put CCTV cameras, to light up the dark roads, to fund fast tract courts?
Also when it comes to this particular case, it wasn’t even crime. It was evil. It was not the act of criminal passion, nor was it the question of illegality or immorality alone. It was all these things added. When a person in power exercises it merely to crush those who are less powerful, it is not crime, it is pure, unadulterated evil. If such evil was ever allowed to propagate, human race or any race for that matter has little chance. It was not a crime against woman, it was a crime against nature. Therefore it was evil and there is no point in wanting to understand evil. She would have done better to have interview the earlier CM of Delhi and asked her, what did she mean when she advised women to not be adventurous, or asked the earlier police chief about who directed him to file false cases against the protesters and also she ought to have asked the news channel anchor crying hoarse as the guardian of social morality that when will it stop giving air space to the political party whose chief made the Boys will be boys statement. She should have interviewed the power –that-be that why justice is such a long-winding road when the criminals are not even attempting to deny the crime, they are merely explaining the crime. This study of evil is plain stupid and this banning of the stupid study is stupider.