Bengaluru, April 30: We did not forget Nirbhaya and media makes it even more difficult. A little while ago, 'India's Daughter', a documentary on the Dec 16 gangrape victim by Leslee Udwin, shattered our conscience yet again.
It was 'shock', as Udwin rightly states, that permeates through every cell of the skin, especially when one of the rapists Mukesh Singh took pride in teaching.
But what is even shocking is the way social media and channels treat these cases. Describing her plight of convincing BBC to show the entire film (India's daughter) and not just part of it and the ban of the film in India, Leslee has a story to share too. However, this story is the narrative of a media that destroys more than constructs.
A lost meaning and an identity crisis
Media represents the mass, but BBC's editing of the last portion of the film that highlighted the fact that India is not the one and only country in the world to be facing this social stigma. In fact, US and UK record numbers that are way above India's. But with BBC's editing, the idea of rape as a social stigma across the world was lost and India as a rape capital emerged.
The statistics clearly stated gender inequality in many nations and their view of women.
And what was BBC's argument? That they cannot do a story on statistical strand, making it look like an NGO study. However, this boomerangued. And the wrong story was aired, marring India's image and flooding youtube with a documentary that was wrong and misguiding the readership.
India's Daughter meant to bring out the mentality of a particular section of the society (men) toward their counterpart or the opposite section (women).
The fact these men have a conviction in raping as that is what they have learnt since childhood; that women who wear jean and roam around the city are asking for it.
The fact of the idea that women should be subdued in their demeanour and obidient to the male in the society also emerges shockingly, especially when the wife of one of the convicts pleads release for her husband as she feels he is innocent and she and her kids would be dead without him.
Speaking of Egyptian genital mutilation of women, Leslee shows a gruseome example of the hardships women bear across centuries and the world. A global epidemic that will take time to go.
Ironically, the hostess of the show admitted to have interpreted the story in a similar manner, which is when renowned TV anchor/reporter Barkha Dutt interrupted. [Read]
Leslee, however, reacted positively saying that with the banning of the film in India and the youtube upload did not deter the popularity of the story. It, in fact, raised its demand. And the elite, who knew there was more to it started venturing out for the real strory and sharing them online.
WhatsApp-ing goes wrong
The second half of the episode brings another brutal aspect of social media to the fore. The controversial ‘Shame the Rapist' campaign (where men are found recording live rape), championed by Sunita Unnikrishnan thows light on the voyeuristic of people when it comes to recording live rape.
"The Indian Parliament woke up to India's Daughter, but I had to knock the SC's door for justice," rued Unnikrishnan.
Despising the mentality of the rapists and the comfort level they have in the crime, Sunita questioned the ownership of the people who shared these videos online and the social mediums who did not have any regulations in restricting the sharing of these videos.
Surprisingly, Sunita reveals that she has collected live videos of rape from several countries, which date back to as long as 5-10 years.
She said, "I have 9 such videos with 40 men in it. Only 3 could be unravelled, one of them dated back to 2010. This means, the video was viral for 5 years. Can we imagine the trauma that the woman must have gone through. Needless to say, a woman who has been raped dies a 100 deaths after such an incident, she is guilty of a crime that she never committed. Do these women deserve this attitude from the society? Are TRPs all that matter?"
The concluding line of Sunita rattled our psyche when she said," If this same energy of sharing these videos went into stopping the perpetrators from creating a viral virtual world of ripping a woman's dignity time and again, things would have been different today."
Indeed, media needs a quick re-run of their TRP policies because nothing costs more than a woman's dignity.